Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday thanked his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi for praising him as "prime minister material" in an interview to a leading English daily.

"It is his assessment. Though my understanding (about my strength and qualities) is different. I have already clarified my views on the issue. There is nothing that I should comment about," Kumar told reporters here.

"Modi has been a good friend and colleague and I thank him for praising me," Kumar said.

State unit JD(U) president Vashisth Narayan Singh said, "I must thank Modi for praising Nitish even though he has time and against clarified that he is not in the race to be projected as the NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate."

BJP leaders, however, sought to steer clear of controversy with Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav and health minister Ashwani Kumar Chaube evading questions by reporters.

In an interview to an national English daily, Modi had described Kumar as "prime ministerial material" and said he would play an important role in the 2014 general elections.


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