Patna: On Friday the BJP flayed NCP chief Sharad Pawar for suggesting that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the most credible face of an anti-BJP alliance and reminded the Maratha strongman that he too had left Congress to "nurse his own dream to become the PM, but it remained a pipe dream only".
"Pawar has needlessly fuelled Nitish Kumar's prime ministerial ambition by describing him as a leader with right credentials for the top executive post," BJP national spokesman Syed Shahanwaz Hussain told PTI over phone.
In an interview on Thursday, the NCP chief had said Nitish Kumar would be the most credible face of an anti-BJP alliance.
"...he (Pawar) should remember he too had dreamt for the same post and left the Congress to nurse his ambitions that ended up being a pipe dream only," Shahanwaz said.
He said the prime ministerial ambition of the NCP chief and his JD(U) counterpart remained unfulfilled despite change in political situation over the past two decades.
"Like Pawar's dream ending up being a 'pipe dream' only, Kumar's identical aspiration will too fall far short given the strength of his party - JD(U) - which has only two members in the Lok Sabha," the BJP leader said.
He said one has right to nurse whatever ambitions (he has) in a democratic system but a leader must take a realistic look at the strength of his party before nursing prime ministerial ambition.
Asking Nitish to strengthen his party in Parliament before staking claim over the post, he said, "The JD(U) does not represent entire Bihar let alone being a national party."
"Like the JD(U), the BJP too had two MPs in the eighth Lok Sabha, but it worked hard in subsequent years to make its presence felt on the political turf before its stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee could become Prime Minister in 1996," Hussain recalled.
"Like us, Nitish Kumar will have to work hard to build his party and enhance its appeal among the people not only in Bihar, but other parts of the country to gain numbers in Parliament...he should throw his hat in the prime ministerial race after doing hardwork on the ground," he said.
Hussain said the Bihar Chief Minister will have to overcome strong challenge from the BJP which has a strong leadership under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Even otherwise, Kumar will have to withstand challenges from the UPA and other regional parties whose leaders, like Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav also nurse the ambition," he said.