New Delhi: Taking a swipe at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Janata Dal (United) leader Shivanand Tiwari on Sunday asked how could "sadhus and Nagas" decide the Prime Ministerial candidate of the alliance they belong to, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Tiwari's outburst came amidst growing indications that the VHP will indicate its support for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at its Dharam Sansad on February 7, which is when Modi plans to be in Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela.
Speaking to reporters, Tiwari fumed, "How can the PM candidate be decided by sadhus and Nagas? This is completely absurd." Tiwari made it clear that a final call could be taken only after consultations within the coalition.
While the JD(U) and more specifically Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's objections to Modi's candidature are well known, another BJP ally, the Shiv Sena is keen on projecting senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj as the PM candidate.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), on the other hand, has announced that it will back Modi.