Patna, June 16 (IANS) The BJP said on Tuesday it will not announce its chief ministerial candidate and instead fight the coming Bihar assembly elections in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The BJP will not announce its chief ministerial candidate. The BJP has several capable leaders for the top political post in the state but it will fight the assembly elections in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Ananth Kumar, union minister for chemicals and fertilisers and party incharge for Bihar.
“Narendra Modi is the BJP face; our party will contest the assembly polls under his leadership,” he told the media here.
BJP’s main rival – ruling Janata Dal-United, RJD, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party combine – declared Nitish Kumar as its candidate for the top post on June 8.
Nitish Kumar said that the party had, in the last one year, contested assembly elections in different states in the name of Modi.
The union minister downplayed the repeated demand of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that the BJP too declare its chief ministerial candidate.
BJP ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party said on Monday that its party chief and union minister Upendra Kushwaha be declared the opposition alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.
However, another BJP ally, union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, announced last week that Paswan would not be the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate.
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who announced joining the NDA alliance in the state, said he was not in the race for the top job and only a BJP leader would be the candidate.
In the caste-ridden politics of Bihar, over half a dozen BJP leaders from the upper castes and the backward castes have staked their respective claims for projection as chief ministerial candidate.