Patna: Firmly sticking to his stand for a secular person to be projected as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday swept aside criticism by the RSS saying his party JD(U) has alliance with BJP and not the Sangh Parivar.

"JD(U) has a long standing alliance with BJP and not RSS...I stand by what I have said in an interview," he said, referring to his view on a secular person to be projected as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate.

"I did not take name of any individual," he told reporters on the sidelines of his Janata Durbar here in reference to his secular NDA prime ministerial candidate demand being read as an attempt to undermine Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's prime ministerial ambitions.

Apparently seeking to link his secular NDA prime ministerial candidate plank to the foundation of ties between JD(U) and BJP in 1996, Kumar said his party had formed an alliance on the agenda against scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution and Uniform Civil Code, besides judicial or negotiated settlement of Ayodhya dispute.

JD(U) will not compromise with dilution in any of these core issues vis-a-vis its relations with BJP, he said.

On the ties between JD(U) and BJP in Bihar, Kumar said the two parties had come together under the banner of the NDA in 1999 with a tactical understanding to defeat the then ruling party, he said referring to the RJD-led government in the state that time.

The two NDA allies had adhered to a common minimum programme since coming to power in the state in 2005, Kumar said.

Referring to veteran RSS leader M G Vaidya statements in an article published in RSS English mouthpiece, asking him to sever his party's ties with the NDA any time he wanted to do so, Kumar said he would not like to join issues with the critics.

"We have no alliance with the RSS but have political agreement with BJP on common minimum programme," he said.

"I am a democrat," the Chief Minister said.

(JPN/Agencies)

 

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