Patna, June 23: With his and party leader Shivanand Tiwari's remarks causing unease to the NDA, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asked JD(U) leaders and spokesmen to refrain from issuing statements on contentious issues without prior permission from the leadership.
“You should refrain from issuing statements or speaking to the media on contentious issues that may strain ties between the long-standing NDA constituents - JD(U) and BJP,” he told JD(U) leaders and workers at a marathon meeting that lasted over four hours at his official residence.
“If at all you need to issue statements or speak to the media on political issues then prior permission should be taken from the state unit JD(U) president or myself,” he said.
There was no point in discussing certain issues between the allies as “whatever has to be said has already been said,” he said referring to his remarks on NDA's secular PM candidate and subsequent war of words between some leaders of the two parties.
“JD(U) is very much a part of NDA and will remain with it in future too,” state party president Vashistha Narayan Singh said while briefing the media about the closed door meeting between the chief minister and JD(U) leaders. There is no point in statements by leaders of the two NDA constituents as the controversy has been settled by the top leadership of the two parties, he said.
The party's leadership, including Kumar, has already conveyed its ideology and conviction. “Nothing more is required to be said...The war of words between some leaders of the two allies are irrelevant and unnecessary,” Singh said.
Earlier in the day, NDA convenor and the JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav had also asked party leaders to refrain from making statements without permission from the senior leaders.
His remarks came in the wake of JD(U) General Secretary Shivanand Tiwari asking the BJP to reconsider its stand to back P A Sangma's Presidential bid and statements defending the UPA's handling of the economy.
State party president Singh said during the meeting Kumar asked party workers to tour the state for spreading awareness as to how the special category status would boost economic development and industrialisation in Bihar, and solicit their support.
Kumar said signatures of 1.25 crore people of the state had been obtained on the demand for special category status and the state government had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider it. The Inter Ministerial Group had, however, allegedly rejected the demand without going into the merit of the points put forward.
He discussed in detail preparations for the November 6 ‘Adhikar Rally' at the historic Gandhi Maidan here to mobilise mass support to pressurise the Centre to accord the special category status to Bihar.
Singh said the chief minister had also directed the party leaders to make the green mission a success so that the state's forest cover could be increased to 15 per cent of its area over the next five years.