'NDA allies have no veto power on BJP's choice of PM candidate'

Ahmedabad: Asserting that NDA allies have no veto power on BJP's choice of prime ministerial candidate, party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said even Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had acknowledged in the past that the nominee will be from the saffron party.

"BJP is part of NDA and we respect all our allies. But one thing is clear that the prime ministerial candidate will be of BJP and none of our allies has a veto power on this matter," Prasad told a press conference here.

Ravi Shankar Prasad. AFP

Ravi Shankar Prasad. AFP

The party's renewed aggression came in the backdrop of Congress' bid to cut down Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the recently-held Karnataka Assembly elections.

Responding to a query on the strident opposition from Kumar to Modi's projection as the Prime Ministerial candidate, Prasad said, "Nitish Kumar too said publicly in the past that PM candidate will be from BJP."

The Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha evaded direct reply to a query if Modi will be BJP's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 elections.

"Modiji is one of our most respected and popular leaders. Our Parliamentary Board will discuss and decide that issue. Unlike Congress, we are not a family-run party," he said.

Prasad was here to announce the party's nationwide agitation from May 27-June 2 against the UPA's corruption.

"During the UPA rule, there were major 12-13 big scams. Congress and UPA-led Central government is the most corrupt government since Independence," he alleged.

Continuing his party's attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prasad said the principal opposition party wanted Singh's resignation over the lack of "accountability".

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has never been a mass leader. He was considered a great economist and a man of great integrity. But during his Prime Ministership in past 10 years, our economy has suffered a lot and our country is now considered one the most corrupt in the world," Prasad said.

He said that during its nationwide stir, BJP leaders and workers will stage demonstrations in all state capitals and district centres on the issue of corruption and court arrests.

On External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's visit to China against the backdrop of Ladakh stand-off, Prasad said Congress should clarify on what actually transpired during Khurshid's visit.

"Whole country is worried about China's incursion into our territory. BJP would like to know what our Foreign Minister has done during his visit to Beijing. Was it any understanding or surrendering?" he asked.

"They should come clean and declare the truth. What is the reality? Were there any conditions in that understanding with China?...People of the country needs answers," he added.

Prasad said senior party leader and former Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria was being falsely implicated in the alleged Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

"Its a case of gross misuse of CBI. The way they framed former Gujarat Minister Amit Shah without any evidence, similarly Kataria has been framed," he alleged.

Terming it as a "conspiracy to frame BJP leaders", Prasad said BJP would fight the injustice politically and legally.


Updated Date: May 15, 2013 22:11 PM

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