Don’t want any ally to leave NDA: BJP

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The BJP does not want any ally to leave the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), party president Rajnath Singh said Wednesday as speculation mounted over the future of its ties with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

“This crisis is unfortunate. We would never want any ally to leave. Allies have different ideologies. There can be issue-based differences,” Singh told journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) here.

Differences between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and JD-U over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s possible candidature as prime minister are out in the open. Though the BJP has not made any official announcement about its prime ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha polls, Modi is widely perceived to be the party’s man for the top job.

“We will talk to the JD-U and sort issues,” Singh said.

BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain meanwhile said the BJP and JD-U were united for the “10 crore people of Bihar” and the ties won’t snap.

“Our alliance is for the welfare of 10 crore people of Bihar and the mandate has been given to BJP and JD-U jointly. We will keep working together for the people of Bihar even though our philosophies are different,” Hussain told reporters.

He added: “The Congress is trying to divert the attention from the issue of corruption and price rise by igniting the communal-secular debate, but we will not let it happen. We will even approach parties which have different ideologies than ours and try to get them on the same front because they are also tired of corruption and inflation.”

Hussain said the party was looking for more alliance partners, but refused to name any parties.

“We are the biggest partner of the NDA. We have to find more allies, and we will not let the old allies go,” he said.

JD-U president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has made the party’s position clear and said it would only back a secular person as prime minister. It has also demanded that the BJP declare its candidate by December.

The Shiv Sena also echoed the JD-U position Wednesday and said that the BJP must clarify its stance on the issue.

In a strongly-worded editorial in the party mouthpiece “Saamna”, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the BJP had the right to nominate its candidate for prime minister but it could not take a unilateral decision on the issue.

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