The recent war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance partner Janata Dal-United seems to have come to an end after the former assured its allies it would decide on the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections after consulting them.
A day after BJP President Nitin Gadkari asked all party members and allies "to exercise restraint while speaking on NDA (National Democratic Alliance)-related issues", sources said senior leader L K Advani assured JD-U President Sharad Yadav that the decision on the prime ministerial candidate would be taken by BJP's parliamentary board and that too only after consultations with allies.
Senior JD-U leaders clarified that there was no discussion within the BJP-led NDA on making Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the alliance's prime ministerial candidate.
The JD-U does not want the BJP to project Modi as the leader of NDA in the next Lok Sabha elections.
"It has been decided between the leaders that BJP would first take a decision on the prime ministerial candidate in its parliamentary board, and then they would approach NDA. Once the issue is discussed and agreed upon in NDA, only then will the name of the prime ministerial candidate be announced," said a senior leader of NDA, requesting anonymity.
The first signs of a truce came when JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was in the centre of the controversy after indirectly criticising Modi in a recent newspaper interview, asked his party members not to speak on issues that would increase differences between the two parties.
"BJP President Nitin Gadkari and JD-U President Sharad Yadav have expressed their views. I have told our spokesperson to express his views on the basis of facts and as per the seriousness of the issue and not to say anything which will increase differences," Kumar told media persons.
Senior JD-U leader Shivanand Tiwari had stated that the NDA could not come to power if they projected a "fanatic face" as its prime ministerial candidate. The statement was an indirect reference to Modi.