‘The choice is between us and misrule under Lalu’

JP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tells KUNAL MAJUMDER that allies cannot dictate terms during the Bihar poll campaign
Is Narendra Modi going to campaign for the BJP in Bihar?
Modi is our senior leader and commands mass appeal. The Bihar campaign is going to start in October and we are still finalising the details. It’s too early to say anything. We are in the process of drawing up the list of possible rallies that we will organise on our own and the ones that we will jointly hold with the Janata Dal (United). The final decision will be taken after consultations with leaders at the state and national level.
Going by the reaction of JD(U) leaders, especially Shivanand Tiwari, who threatened to break the alliance, has Modi become a liability for the BJP in Bihar?
No, that’s not true. Modi is an asset for the BJP. He is an icon of development.
JD(U) leaders sound jittery when Modi enters the picture. However, you say that he cannot be ignored. Isn’t the BJP in a bind in Bihar?
When you are in an alliance, you have some compulsions. However, when there is an election, all the allies need to sit down and decide on a common agenda. We have to ensure that the BJP-JD(U) alliance returns to power in Bihar. But let me make this clear: if any party, be it the BJP or the JD(U), adopts a rigid attitude, it will be disastrous for the alliance.

Read rest of the interview in Tehelka dated September 25, 2010

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