While reiterating that the party would not accept Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as opposition NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, the JD(U) on Saturday showed signs of mellowing down on the deadline-for-PM issue, and indicated that they may not set a time frame for the BJP to declare its candidate.
A mellowed down JD(U) would now merely “suggest to the BJP to declare its PM-candidate by the year-end”, revealed senior JD(U) leaders. The party, which began its two-day national meet here on Saturday, will highlight this issue in its political resolution on Sunday.
Asked whether the party would steer clear of setting a deadline for the BJP to declare its prime ministerial candidate, party general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP K C Tyagi, who had been fielded to apprise the media of the day’s developments, said: “Yes, we can give time. The BJP, after all, is a friendly party and pressure tactics is not used against friendly parties.” Tyagi then said that Modi “had failed to discharge his Constitutional duties as state’s Chief Minister during the 2002 riots”.
The party also expressed support for L K Advani’s name in the prime ministerial race. “We have in the past contested Lok Sabha elections under his leadership. How can we say that it was a mistake,” said Tyagi.
The apparent mellowing down on the key NDA ally’s part is being seen as the result of BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s behind-the-scenes talks with JD(U) leadersliek Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav.