Party quits India's main opposition alliance over appointment of Hindu ideologue

The second-biggest party in India's main opposition alliance has left the group after the dominant party appointed a Hindu ideologue to lead its campaign for parliamentary elections next year.

Janata Dal (United), a powerful group in eastern Bihar state, quit the National Democratic Alliance on Sunday, saying it fears that with Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party in charge, the alliance could alienate voters because of his anti-Muslim image.

Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav said it has "decided to part ways."

The split is expected to hurt the alliance's chances to win control of the federal government from the scandal-plagued Congress party in 2014.

Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state, is accused of doing little to stop anti-Muslim riots there in 2002 which left more than 1,000 dead.