Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has officially denied threatening the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He issued a press statement saying he hasn't given any interview to any magazine, which quoted him saying that he would quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if Modi was projected as the prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP had on Thursday claimed that there was no divide in the NDA on the issue of its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 parliamentary polls and said a decision will be taken only after consulting Nitish Kumar, who is reportedly opposed to Modi filling the slot.
"I have promised Nitish Kumar that he will be consulted before a decision is taken. I have discussed at length the Modi issue with Nitish. At an appropriate time, we'll decide on the PM candidate and that will happen only after talks with Nitish Kumar," Gadkari said.
He said that as far as he was concerned, there was no problem with Nitish Kumar or Narendra Modi being projected as the face of NDA in the 2014 elections. "Modi is one of the six PM candidates of BJP along with Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and M M Joshi. No decision has been taken yet," Gadkari said.
He also refuted reports that after Gujarat elections, Modi will be projected as Chairman, National Campaign Committee of the NDA.
Asked if Nitish's choice for prime minister is Advani, he said, "I don't know what is on Nitish's mind regarding Advani. He has not mentioned any name to me."
(With additional information from PTI)