BJP backs Modi, says Nitish has no right to judge him

After the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh hit back at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his comment against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has also came out in support of Modi.

Hitting out at Nitish Kumar, BJP leader Balbir Punj said, "No one has the right to give a fatwa on who is secular. BJP has not outsourced this sort of judgement to anyone outside the party."

Balbir Punj. Screengrab from ibnlive

Punj said that all NDA leaders are bound by the principles of the party. "NDA is a secular party. From Vajpayee to Modi - all the leaders are bound by principles of party."

He also said, that Modi was no different from Advani or Vajpayee as far as secularism is concerned.

"Modi is in a very prominent position in national politics because of the massive development work he has undertaken in Gujarat. He has not been projected by the BJP - his sterling work has highlighted him, " he said.

He further added that the fact that Nitish Kumar was a part of the NDA and was sharing power with BJP as one of its major allies proves that BJP is a secular party. "BJP is a secular party in every sense of the word, and that is why Nitish is sharing power with us."

Earlier, Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the right-wing RSS, questioned why Kumar had raised the issue now and said it seemed to be a ploy to retain his vote bank in the state.

Punj, however, maintained that this is a 'needless controversy'. "I don't think there will be complication. There's bound to be difference of perceptions. But we are with the JD(U) and we will continue to be with them. If there was no difference in national politics, it wouldn't be normal," he said.