New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Friday said he has discussed the issue of NDA Prime Ministerial candidate with ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and assured him that no decision has yet been taken on Narendra Modi being the party's choice for the top post. (Agencies)
"I told him (Nitish Kumar) that we have not taken a decision on it (Prime Ministerial candidate). I told him that you are a part of NDA and when we in NDA decide who should be the candidate, we will discuss it with you too. Till then, discussing it is irrelevant," Gadkari told to a news channel.
He was replying to a question on Kumar's objection to Modi being NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate.
"If his and our ideology was the same, would not we be one party? He has a right to differ," Gadkari said.
However, Gadkari indicated Kumar and his party JD(U) are not likely to go with Congress when he said the Bihar Chief Minister is a follower of Ram Manohar Lohia, a staunch critic of Congress.
Asked about Team Anna's movement and its decision to form a political party, Gadkari said "our alternative cannot be Anna Hazare. The alternative to one political party is another party. The alternative to Congress is BJP."
He maintained Team Anna has a right to form a party but said Anna is not a politician. "He is a social worker," he said.
Gadkari said BJP had extended support to Team Anna during their last agitation but did not do so this time as they had not sought the party's support.
"If anybody is agitating against corruption, be it Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev, it is our intrinsic nature to support it. Last year, they had sought our support and we had extended it. This year, they did not ask for our support," Gadkari said.
Asked about recent presidential elections and delay in BJP making its stand clear on the polls, Gadkari said many leaders within his party were of the view that Pranab Mukherjee should be backed due to his stature but UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not consult the main opposition on the issue.
"The government had sent its emissaries to Tamil Nadu, Assam and other states.... Though we are the principal opposition, we were not consulted. Sonia Gandhi could have called us to discuss the issue," Gadkari said.
He disclosed former President A P J Abdul Kalam was keen on contesting even when BJP had made it clear that numbers were not in his favour. He backed out only later.
"We had a frank discussion with him... He had indicated his willingness to contest even after we discussed the numbers with him. He changed his mind later and he has a right to do so," Gadkari said.
Speaking about the differences within his party, the BJP President said the problem was that it is "too democratic a party" and he has to face "thousands of questions from party leaders".
He described senior party leader L K Advani as a guide and philosopher and a tall leader. "He has a right to speak and write what he feels.... Whatever he suggests we will definitely think and work on it. I will never react to any of his writings and words. He has taught me this discipline," Gadkari said.
Advani had recently criticised some of the party decisions on his blog and this was seen as an attack on Gadkari.
New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Friday said he has discussed the issue of NDA Prime Ministerial candidate with ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and assured him that no decision has yet been taken on Narendra Modi being the party's choice for the top post.