Gadkari, Naqvi meet Sharad Yadav amid reports of rift

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Amid reports of rift between their parties after the BJP named Narendra Modi to head its 2014 Lok Sabha campaign, Nitin Gadkari and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Thursday met Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav as part of efforts to prevent clean split between the two.

Yadav later said that “NDA (National Democratic Alliance) exists right now” and efforts were being made to rectify the situation that has taken a bad shape.

The meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders with Yadav came a day after BJP patriarch L.K. Advani called the JD-U chief to ask him to keep the alliance going. Advani then also called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Asked about Advani’s status following his resignation from key party posts and his subsequent decision to relent, Yadav said his position has not weakened.

“We have the same respect for him which was there before,” he said.

The JD-U has hinted that it could snap ties with the BJP following elevation of Modi, the Gujarat chief minister, as the chief of the party’s campaign committee for the Lok Sabha polls. The party is opposed to projection of Modi as prime ministerial candidate of the BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Both the BJP and JD-U are partners in the NDA and run a coalition government in Bihar.

JD-U leaders have said the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate should be “secular”.

Yadav said the JD-U was talking to its workers and a meeting will be held to take a decision concerning alliance with the BJP.

He refused to take questions about his party sticking to alliance if Modi is not the prime ministerial candidate.

Asked if Advani was acceptable to the JD-U as PM candidate, Yadav said he alone could not decide on the issue.

Naqvi, who is vice-president of the BJP, said it was difficult to form a coalition but easy to break it.

He said the party has been trying to see that the aliance does not crack.

“The coalition should remain strong. It should not crack. BJP has always tried for this,” Naqvi said.

He said the BJP had run a coalition government of over 20 parties under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“We know what is the need of the alliance for the country and that coalition norms should be fulfilled properly,” Naqvi said.

Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu asked JD-U leaders not to make derogatory remarks against Modi.

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