M A I N   N E W S

Opposed to Modi, JD-U says he failed to curb 2002 riots
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13
The Janata Dal-United, a key constituent of the National Democratic Alliance, today gave an indication of its opposition to Narendra Modi's projection as possible prime ministerial candidate by raking up the 2002 Gujarat riots and criticising the Chief Minister for his “failure to check communal violence.”

While unwilling to offer any comment on what would be the party’s stand in case Modi is projected as the PM nominee, the JD-U, one of the oldest NDA ally, said: “One does not bargain with or pressurise friends.”

However, responding to persistent questions at a briefing on deliberations of the party meet here, JD-U secretary general KC Tyagi said the party will do nothing to jeopardise its hoary secular credentials reminding how the Janata Dal sacrificed the VP Singh government in 1989 by taking into custody BJP leaders on the Ram Janmabhoomi issue.

As for the ‘Modi as PM chant’, Tyagi said as of now there was nothing in the form of a resolution by the BJP or its Parliamentary Board spelling out its stand on the issue. “Show us any resolution…being popular is one thing and being PM is another,” Tyagi asserted.

He, however, was categorical that as far as the JD-U was concerned, its leader Nitish Kumar was not a claimant for the top political post in the country.

In an obvious retort to the BJP that declared Modi as secular, Tyagi said as the head of the government in Gujarat during 2002 “he failed to act with alertness and as a liberal leader,” making it clear that the JD-U does not approve of the manner in which the situation was handled.

Amid indications that the party will ask the BJP to declare the PM candidate early, final contours of the political direction is expected to emerge at the National Council meeting tomorrow that would be addressed both by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and party president Sharad Yadav, who was re-elected to the post for the third time in a row.

That the relations between the JD-U and the BJP were not smooth in several states was indicated by Tyagi who said party chiefs from the UP, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Rajasthan talked at length about various issues.





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