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Sharad asks Gadkari to ensure no Punj-like remark from BJP

PTI 25 Jun 2012, 22:38:06 IST
New Delhi, June 25: Irked by Balbir Punj's comment that BJP has not outsourced responsibility of defining who is secular, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav today asked his BJP counterpart Nitin Gadkari to “restrain” such members in his party when a “ceasefire” has been drawn on the issue. 

“What was the need for such an untimely and illogical statement by the BJP MP, who is also the in-charge of Gujarat for his party affairs? I have talked to BJP President Nitin Gadkari. He should restrain such persons. Such unnecessary talks should not happen,” Yadav, who is NDA convener said. 

The JD-U president pointed out that his party has already drawn a “ceasefire” by asking its members to consult either him or Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar before speaking out.  Renewing the war of words between BJP and JD-U over the issue of Narendra Modi's projection, Punj yesterday said in Vadodra that Modi was “Prime Minister material” criticising opponents who questioned Modi's secular credentials. 

He had also said that BJP has “not outsourced” the responsibility of declaring and defining who is secular in the BJP.

Earlier taking the pitch of Nitish Kumar for a “secular” Prime Ministerial candidate by the NDA to a new decibel, JD-U general secretary Shivanand Tewari had said that the NDA cannot come to power with a “fanatic face”.  He had also justified the UPA's economic policies saying the country's economy would have been no better even if BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad would have been Finance Minister. 

As the war of words intensified, senior JD(U) leaders on Saturday advised its spokespersons to consult them before speaking out. Yadav categorically said the support of JD(U) to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is “no indication of any rift in the NDA”.

Yadav today questioned “why the firing continues from their (BJP) side even as we have brought a ceasefire in our camp”. The JDU President also made it clear that while JD(U) has supported Pranab Mukherjee's Presidential candidature, it remains opposed to UPA's economic policies.