Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has been consistent in his opposition to Narendra Modi, the Hinduvta posterboy, emerging as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections. In a recent interview with a business daily, Nitish insisted that the NDA should name its prime ministerial candidate before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and that the candidate must have 'secular' credentials and a 'liberal' frame of mind.
While a section of the BJP has called upon Nitish to bury the ghost of the 2002 Gujarat riots, Nitish has made it clear that he is unwavering in his support for a secular and liberal leader and that he does not exonerate Modi for failing to protect Gujarat's Muslims during the riots.
Nitish's aversion to Modi is well known but it should be seen in light of the secular political mentoring that he received in his young days under the tutelage of JP Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia. At that time, his sworn enemy of today, Lalu Prasad Yadav, was a comrade-in-arms.
In 2011, at a BJP executive in Patna, Nitish and Modi were at loggerheads over an advertisement issued by the Gujarat BJP.
Modi has also been taking digs at the politicians from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for what the Gujarat Chief Minister calls 'resorting to caste-based politics'.
Nitish had then said that Modi, who has been a constant irritant in the JD(U)-BJP coalition ties in Bihar, should mind his own business instead of making comments on others.
"One should think about one's own situation (Bihar par tippani karne walon ko apne halaat ke bare me sochana chahiye)", he had told reporters in reply to a question when asked for his reaction to Modi's remarks targeting Bihar leaders.