Nitish not in PM race: JD-U

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is not in the prime ministerial race, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) said Saturday.

“We have made our stand clear on PM issue. Nitish Kumar is not in the race for Prime Minister,” JD-U spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said at a press conference.

The JD-U began a two-day meet here Saturday amid signals that the party may not immediately press the BJP to declare a prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, while maintaining its reservations over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Tyagi said his party would give the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) time to declare the prime ministerial candidate.

“We will wait for the BJP to declare PM candidate and we will comment then,” he said.

On being asked about Modi as PM candidate, Tyagi said “he was not able to tackle Gujarat riots in 2002”. He, however, said that “we are not opposed to L.K. Advani for PM candidate.”

Nitish Kumar has, on more than one occasion, expressed grave reservations over Modi’s candidature for prime ministership, given his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Tyagi also added that his party would not form government with Congress in future.

“There is no question of forming government with Congress if situation arises,” the party spokesperson said.

While the JD-U national executive met Saturday, the national convention will take place Sunday.

The JD-U is the largest constituent of the NDA after the BJP, with 20 members in the Lok Sabha. The party leads the government in Bihar, with the BJP as its junior partner.

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