Jun 192012

New Delhi, June 19 (ANI): Backing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement in which he asked his alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to name a prime ministerial candidate with secular credentials, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said that India is a secular country and our prime minister should be a secular.

“Whosoever becomes the prime minister, they are responsible for the whole nation. They can’t be biased,” he added.

“Nitish Kumar’s statement is a welcome thing. We are a secular country and our prime minister has to be a secular,” Khurshid told media here.

Seeking to rest all speculation, Nitish Kumar in an interview to a national daily has asserted that he is not in the prime ministerial race. However, without taking names, he has also made it clear that JD (U) will not accept the leadership of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

He insisted that the NDA should name its Prime Ministerial candidate before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the candidate must have secular credentials and a liberal frame of mind.

“NDA should declare its candidate in advance. This leader should be acceptable to every constituent of the alliance. To me, the leader of the coalition should have secular credentials. It should be someone who has absolute faith in democratic values,” he said.

“In a multi-religious and multi-lingual country like ours, the leader should not have rough edges in his personality. An alliance can win the confidence of the people only if the leader is seen as accommodating,” he added.

Nitish Kumar’s candid comments appear to be aimed at setting the rules of the game before the NDA starts to mull over the strategy to take on the UPA in 2014.

The latest war-of-words seems to have been sparked off by Modi’s recent comments on Bihar.

Speaking at a public rally in Rajkot, Modi had reportedly said, ” Bihar, at one point of time, was a political and spiritual leader of the country, but it slipped into socio-economical backwardness ever since the casteist leadership took centre stage.” (ANI)

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