Patna: The JD(U) on Friday asked the BJP to review its stand on the presidential polls and back the candidature of the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee for the top constitutional post of the country. Instead of asking us to review our stand to support Mukherjee's candidature in the presidential polls, the BJP should itself review is stand and support the UPA nominee in the presidential polls given his vast experience and contributions in public life, the JD(U) national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said.

"Mukherjee is a proven leader of tall stature and vast experience," he said and appealed to the BJP to support his candidature in the presidential polls.

On the BJP squarely holding the Union Finance Minister responsible the prevailing price rise and inflation, besides not properly dealing with the black money issue, Tiwari said that Mukherjee was not "responsible" for the mess in the Indian economy and said that the economic crisis as a result of host of issues, including global economic situation.

The Indian economy is firmly inter-wined with global economy as a result of which even a small fall at New York stock exchange has a bearing on the economies of the world, including India, the senior JD(U) leader said.

"It was the global economic crisis that has created problems like price rise, inflation and other problems in the Indian economic and as such the Finance minister was not solely responsible for it," Tiwari claimed said.

BJP was not impressed with Shivanand Tiwari's comments in favour of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and wondered why the JD(U)- which till now had opposed the UPA government on price rise- was praising the Centre.

Tiwari, who is JD(U) MP and spokesperson, had said that price rise is due to global economic slowdown and even if BJP leaders had been at the helm, they would not have succeeded in bringing it down.

"The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in its six-year rule controlled prices, ensured economic reforms and progress because of good governance and capable leadership. In that government, Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav and myself were also ministers," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

He said the JD(U)-BJP in Bihar had ended the 15 year misrule of Lalu Prasad.

"In the wake of gross misrule of Lalu raj, the Nitish Kumar government has brought Bihar on the road to progress and growth due to good governance. The reason as to why there is price rise presently under the Manmohan Singh government is gross mismanagement of the food economy, corruption and bad governance," Prasad said.

Another BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay also hit out at the JD(U) spokesperson for his pro-Mukherjee remarks.

"Why is Shivanand Tiwari's confidence so low that he is advocating the cause of the UPA government by defending its misrule and bad governance," Vijay said.

On earlier occasions, BJP and JD(U) have together held bandhs and protests against price rise under the UPA-II government. Today BJP held a nation-wide bandh on the issue.

The relations between the two NDA allies have been strained after differences emerged over the Presidential elections and when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made remarks ostensibly targeting his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi on the NDA Prime Ministerial candidate issue.

Stating that the NDA was in power in Bihar under Kumar's leadership because of his, "popularity, good image and social justice agenda" and not because of the BJP, Singh said that the BJP put to its place as a fringe player once it decides to walk out from the alliance.

He slammed the state unit BJP chief C.P. Thakur for reportedly claiming that the BJP will dish out an impressive performance in the general elections if the alliance between the two NDA partners was to break ahead of the elections.

Singh dared Thakur to ask his party to break away if he has assessed the ground reality about the fortunes of his party after break up with the JD(U).

(Agencies)

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