New Delhi: JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari came out in support of Bihar Chief Minisrer Nitish Kumar, saying that the NDA lost the 2004 and the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as the secular votes went to the UPA. Clarifying that his party is a partner of the BJP and not of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. he said, "We have an alliance with the BJP and not with Modi. Whether we remain in the NDA or not, we will not compromise on secularism."
Tiwari claimed that despite the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in favour of removing Modi as the Chief Minister of Gujarat following the 2002 riots, but the move was opposed by several senior BJP leaders.
JD(U) MLC Devesh Chandra Thakur gave Mohan Bhagwat a curt response by pointing out the the ideologies of his party and that of the RSS-BJP were very different.
"I don't think any one in this country will be surprised by the statement of Mohan Bhagwatji. Our ideology is different. Unfortunately RSS narrows down the ideology of Hinduism. Modi has a RSS back ground and it is obvious that the RSS will support him. There is no surprising element in this," said Thakur.
The BJP also hit back at the Bihar Chief Minister and said that the party does not need to take certificate on secularism from anyone. "We do not need to take certificate on secularism from anyone. The BJP will decide its own prime ministerial candidate," said BJP leader Balbir Punj.
Punj added, "When Gujarat riots took place, Nitish Kumar was the railway minister. He remained in the post till 2004. We have not authorised any one to give certificate of secularism to any individual."
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday backed Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate and took on Nitish. Bhagwat said the country should have Prime Minister who propounds Hindutva. "To keep alive the Hindutva ideology, the Hindu samaaj should come together. And the country should have a Prime Minister who believes in that ideology or propounds that view," said Bhagwat. The RSS chief also slammed Nitish and said that he is scared to call himself a Hindu.