Bihar BJP, JD(U) split over Manmohan comment

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today took exception to the ally JD(U) backing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks on the plight of minorities in Gujarat under the Narendra Modi Government and said the BJP did not share the opinion of its ally.

"It may be the JD(U)'s opinion or for that matter any of its individual leader, but the BJP does not share this view (about the plight of Muslims under the Modi government)," he told reporters on the sidelines of his Janata Durbar.

"It could as well be personal opinion of the JD(U) leader who has supported the Prime Minister's remarks that the minorities have reservations against the BJP government in Gujarat headed by Narendra Modi," Modi said when his attention was drawn towards comments of the senior JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari.

The PM had told an election meeting in Gujarat two days ago that the minorities felt insecure under the Narendra Modi government and a day later the JD(U) spokesman had echoed the same.

Sushil Modi refrained from saying anything on statements by senior BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj backing Narendra Modi as NDA's prime ministerial candidate. "I will not comment anything on this," Modi said.

On Nitish Kumar's call that NDA's prime ministerial candidate should have a secular image for wider acceptability in the country, Modi said NDA allies would find out a solution on the issue collectively at an appropriate time.

He said the BJP would return to power in Gujarat for a third successive term with a two-third majority.

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