This Article is From Aug 01, 2013

In Shatrughan Sinha's controversy over Nitish Kumar, more "elder brothers" emerge

In Shatrughan Sinha's controversy over Nitish Kumar, more 'elder brothers' emerge
Patna: After a public reprimand from senior colleague, BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha today seemed contrite about his praise for Nitish Kumar, on whom he recently endowed PM potential. 

"My statement was twisted, this is unfortunate," Mr Sinha said today. "Yashwant Sinha is like my older brother. I am in the BJP and will remain in the BJP," he said.

Mr Sinha had also been described as "an elder brother" by Mr Kumar earlier this week after the BJP leader said that the chief minister has governed Bihar ably and seems to have the sort of credentials required for the country's top job.

Yesterday, Yashwant Sinha cautioned that "Shotgun", as Shatrughan Sinha is often referred to, should refrain from comments on the Bihar Chief Minister because there is a complete freeze between the BJP and Mr Kumar.

Their 17-year partnership was called off by Mr Kumar in June, booting the BJP out of the Bihar government that they collaboratively ran.

Mr Kumar  and his party, the Janata Dal United or JDU, have attributed the break-up to the BJP's decision to place Narendra Modi in charge of its campaign for the national election. Mr Kumar said the role was clearly priming Mr Modi for the prime ministerial nomination of the BJP, which is unacceptable to him.

Like other detractors of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Kumar alleges that Mr Modi did not do enough to stop hundreds of Muslims from being killed in communal riots in his state in 2002.

The BJP has repeatedly rejected those charges. It has also alleged that Mr Kumar's stand seeks to ingratiate himself with Muslim voters, who form nearly 17% of Bihar's population.