Much-praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is touted as the strong frontrunner of BJP for the Prime Minister's Post in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He has been praised for developments in his state and hailed as the right man for the PM's job. However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is very unlikely to agree with it.
Janta Dal (United) party chief Nitish Kumar has refused to accept Modi as the Prime Minister of India. Showing his reluctance against Modi assuming the top post of the country, he said that a Prime Ministerial candidate should have a "secular image" and "someone who is acceptable to everyone," like Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Nitish Kumar's comment is against BJP's sentiments, which sees Modi as a fit leader for the Prime Minister post.
While talking to "Economic Times," Nitish made it clear that his party would support only a secular candidate showing his dislike towards Modi becoming Prime Minister without taking names.
Niish also made it clear that he is not in race for Prime Minister's post and added that his party is not big enough to aspire for such a high-post. However, he said that his party would indeed object if the NDA candidate lacks secular image.
The Bihar Chief Minister also suggested that it is better if BJP announces its candidate for the PM post before the 2014 general elections, so that the electors will come to know who will be leading the nation and vote for their choice.
Nitish Kumar is already experiencing difference of opinion with BJP over the choice of NDA candidate for the President post. Nitish was reluctant about BJP supporting scientist APJ Abdul Kalam. At present, BJP is lobbying for former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader PA Sangma's candidature, since Kalam refused to run for the President post. However, still there are differences between Nitish and BJP.
Nitish's remarks on Prime Ministerial candidate have just added fuel to the ongoing dispute amongst the allies. Apparently, refusing to accept Modi's candidature, Nitish may further deteriorate the ties between the JD(United) and the BJP, as the saffron-party has been projecting the Gujarat Chief Minister as its first preference for Prime Minister post.
Modi has been largely praised for his work in his Gujarat state. He is being portrayed as an exemplary leader. However, he carries the stigma of an anti-Muslim leader. Modi has been accused of being part of 2002 post-Godhra communal riots in the state. The riots followed an incident of train burning in Godhra in which Hindus returning from Ayodhya were killed by a Muslim mob.