New Delhi: The war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal United has escalated as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi hit out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. "JD(U)'s statement in Delhi's national executive against our leaders was completely unwanted," Modi said. "We will discuss our future course of action on April 18 in our national executive meet," Modi added.
Nitish Kumar on Sunday did not name the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but made it very clear he is not acceptable as a PM candidate. The JD(U) set a deadline till the end of the year to declare the PM candidate. In his speech, Nitish listed the criteria for a prime minister and said only someone who can take all sections of society together can take the top post.
Nitish, however, ruled himself out of the Prime Ministerial race, saying he does not nurse any such "illusion" with such "little" strength of his party, but made it clear that he would prefer for the top job a leader who carries all sections of society together. "We want to remain together. When did we say that we want to part ways? But when we want to stay together, there are some fundamental issues," Kumar said, making no bones about his reservations on Modi.
In an apparent dig at Modi for his frequent reference to the Gujarat model of development, Nitish said many people accept it as development even when a developed state grows, and stressed that there is a need to see from where did a particular state start its development march. Citing the case of Bihar where the NDA alliance led by him is in power for more than seven years, Nitish said, "Why will we go for genetic modification when the crop is in pink of health? Negative results are bound to happen if one makes an attempt of genetic modification."
Nitish also warned said if the BJP changes direction, it would create problems for the alliance. "When we joined hands with the BJP, it was decided contentious issues like BJP views on article 370 and Ram Janmabhoomi will be kept at bay. If there is an attempt to digress there from the path, there will be trouble," the JD(U) leader said. "Only one who can carry with him all the diverse sections of people can become the leader of the nation. This was Atal Behari Vajpayee's personality. Now, if there is an attempt to change the path, there is bound to be problems. The country does not run by mere projection. Some persons think they will create a wave and people will accept it," he added.