Patna: A crucial meeting of the Bihar BJP on Wednesday night decided to avoid friction with the JD (U) and tone down comments against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after his call for projection of a secular person as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate, party sources said.

The meeting at the residence of senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi discussed the political situation following the war of words between the party and the JD (U), the sources said.

The closed door meeting was attended by senior BJP leaders like state unit party chief C P Thakur, Health minister Ashwani Chaube, Urban Development minister Prem Kumar, state unit organizing secretary Nagendraji and other top functionaries.

Modi, who had virtually toed the Chief Minister's line that the NDA's PM candidate should be a secular person like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had earlier said that the meeting was aimed at diffusing tension among the two ruling coalition partners.

Emerging from the meeting, state unit BJP vice president Mangal Pandey, however, claimed that it was held to discuss the membership drive and related party matters.

Modi was unavailable on phone for comment.

Animal Husbandry and Fisheries minister Giriraj Singh, who had launched a frontal attack on the chief minister and other JD (U) leaders for putting a spanner in the Gujarat Chief Minister's aspiration to be projected as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, did not attend the meeting.


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