JD-U reacts cautiously to Sinha's remarks
Ruling Janata Dal (United) party leaders in Bihar Monday said they would only react to the choice of prime ministerial candidate by the Bharatiya Janata Party once an official announcement was made by that party.
"The JD(U) had already made its stand clear on the need for secular credentials for the National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate. The party will make its stand clear only when the BJP officially announces its PM candidate," JD-U MP and party national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said.
The comments came soon after BJP leader Yashwant Sinha endorsed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate of the party.
Tiwari said Sinha's remarks did not constitute the official stance of the BJP.
"We had informed the BJP about our stand on the alliance's PM candidate," Tiwari said.
Another JD-U spokesperson, Neeraj Kumar, considered close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, told IANS over telephone here that comments on the issue could wait until the BJP officially announced its prime ministerial candidate.
"The BJP is free to identify its leader for the PM post as a party. But when it comes to a PM candidate for the NDA, all of us have to sit and decide," he said.
He recalled that last year the BJP had assured Nitish Kumar that it would decide on its prime ministerial candidate in consultation with NDA allies, and asserted that Sinha's statement could not be considered to be the official line of the party.