Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today appeared to suggest that he was more qualified to be the Prime Minister than those 'roaming around' for the post.
"You say if those roaming around has the experience that matches mine? Do they have one day's experience, one who aspires to be leader of Parliament, either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha," he told NDTV without naming BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi.
He said he has been a Minister of State in the V P Singh government and held important portfolio in Vajpayee governments at the Centre. "Whether I am a PM candidate or not, I have been an MP. I had been an MLA in the past and have been CM for the last so many years and doing public service."
Asked if he was saying he was more qualified to become prime minister, Kumar said "there is no ego clash. Even when we were in NDA we knew that we were a smaller party. We only said that the prime minister should be such a person who takes every tone along without any bias.
"He should not be divisive, should believe in secularism and communal harmony, one whom everyone trusts and believes to lead the country."
He also sought to take potshots at Rahul Gandhi when he said "While one does not have the experience of Parliament another has no experience of running a state....(I) have experience of both ... Am I less qualified than them?"
Asked categorically if he was a prime ministerial candidate, Kumar said his party JD(U) was small and modest and did not make tall claims, but believed in working sincerely for the people.
When told that senior leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Jayalithaa, whose parties SP and AIADMK were part of the Third Front, had hinted at being in the race for the PM's post, he shot back "What's wrong in this?
"Every party has its strategy to maximise support among people," he said.