NDA musings

The BJP has assured Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that it would decide on its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections in consultation with NDA allies. Party chief Nitin Gadkari gave this assurance to Kumar who recently sought a guarantee from the saffron partner that the BJP would not project Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in that election. 
According to sources, Kumar sought the specific assurance from Gadkari at a quiet meeting they had here on July 25. Kumar had earlier stressed –
in an interview with Economic Times and while addressing a convention of party workers – the need for NDA to project a “secular” person as PM. 
His conversation with Gadkari over dinner marked the first instance when the JD(U) leader spelt out his opposition to Modi, potentially complicating the BJP’s challenge of assuaging a crucial but restless ally without annoying the Gujarat strongman. 

The meeting had been sought by BJP against the backdrop of Kumar’s anxiety that the main opposition may declare Modi to be its prime ministerial candidate. The Bihar CM plans to wean Muslims away from arch-rival Lalu Prasad, and has worked on the BJP to ensure that the Gujarat CM was not assigned campaign duty in any election in Bihar since 2005.

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