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Yashwant calls for making Modi BJP's PM candidate, ally Nitish's party objects - Hindustan Times

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday endorsed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next general election. However, NDA ally JD(U) quickly dismissed Sinha's demand as his personal view, making it clear that it has no love lost for the Gujarat chief minister.

"Wherever I go, the common people and party workers say they want Narendra Modi to be the prime minister candidate from BJP," Yashwant Sinha told reporters in New Delhi.

"After considering all aspects, I too feel if BJP declares him as the prime minister candidate, it will make a huge difference to the party," he said.

He added that it was his personal view. The BJP has so far maintained silence on the issue.

Reacting to Sinha's statement, JD(U) said it will wait for BJP's "official stand" on the issue as its leader Nitish Kumar has already conveyed party's views on NDA prime ministerial candidate.

"Whatever we had to say on the issue (of who should be NDA's PM candidate) our leader Nitish Kumar has already conveyed to the BJP.... He has also spoken clearly about what kind of a person should be the prime ministerial candidate. So the ball is in BJP's court," JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari told reporters.

Kumar, who has had reservations on sharing stage with Modi and his campaigning in Bihar, earlier broadly indicated to the BJP that the Gujarat Chief Minister with his Hindutva hardliner image will not be acceptable to JD(U) as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate.

The Bihar chief minister had also said publicly that NDA's candidate for the post should be
somebody who is secular and is acceptable across the board.

"JD(U) will react to whatever official stand BJP takes on the issue. We do not consider Sinha's statement as BJP's official view," Tiwari said, adding,"JD(U) does not need any suggestion on who should be made Prime Ministerial candidate or not. There is no need (for Sinha) to be in an advisory role."

But BJP's oldest NDA ally clarified that the prime ministerial candidate should be from the BJP.

"We have no objection and in fact we believe that BJP is the biggest party in the alliance so if it comes to forming a stable government, a leader from the BJP should become the PM. Nitish Kumar has already said this," Tiwari said.

Meanwhile, the Congress refused to comment on the debate in the BJP over making Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi its prime ministerial candidate, terming it an "internal matter". "It is their internal matter who the party's prime ministerial candidate might be," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters in New Delhi.

"They can have a prime minister only when they get a majority in parliament. Such a possibility doesn't seem remotely possible," Alvi added. "In such circumstances, if they want to discuss these issues amongst themselves, then we do not want to comment," the Congress spokesperson said.

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