Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar's call to the National Democratic Alliance to project a 'secular' leader as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 parliamentary polls today drew flak from a BJP minister who dubbed him 'pseudo secular'.
"These are pseudo secular leaders wearing the hat of secularism to suit their convenience", BJP leader and State Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh told PTI without naming the chief minister.
"These leaders become secular when they don't need support of the BJP, but conveniently forget their secular credentials when the party's help is needed", asserted Singh.
He cited as examples Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad.
Singh said Paswan enjoyed power during the NDA government headed by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but once he moved away he became a 'secular leader'.
Similarly, he said, the RJD supremo had sought support of then BJP state unit president Kailashpati Mishra for forming the government in Bihar in 1990.
Earlier in 1977 the then Jan Sangh was part of the Janata Party government in Bihar in which Prasad was also an entity in the state, Singh said.
He further said that the 'so-called' secular parties such as the Congress, Communists and RJD were accusing the RSS and the Jan Sangh as 'communal forces' and 'killers of Mahatma Gandhi', but it was the people of the country who elected the BJP-led NDA to power under the prime ministership of Vajpayee in 1996.
This time, too, the people of the country would decide the next prime minister and not 'pseudo secular leaders' and parties, Singh said.
Referring to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP leader said that he did not preach, but practised secularism and his government has given due share of development and welfare to Muslims who have allegedly "been used elsewhere in the country by various political parties as mere vote banks".