No place for us in Narendra Modi party,says JD(U),exits alliance

Split: No mention of Gujarat CM but party implies his rise has left people 'anxious'.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published: June 17, 2013 3:12 am

Putting the onus on the BJP’s projection of Narendra Modi,the JD(U) Sunday broke its alliance of 17 years with the party,saying: “The people of the country expect no less.”

Resigning as NDA convenor,JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav said Modi’s elevation to chief of the BJP election campaign committee had been “nothing less than a coronation”. While neither he nor Bihar CM Nitish Kumar,the prime mover of the split,mentioned Modi by name even once,Nitish too slammed the “hegemonic control of a leader” on the BJP for the souring of ties. Editorial: In Patna,Modi

Sunday’s development leaves the NDA with just three parties — the BJP,Shiv Sena and Akali Dal.

Nitish met Bihar Governor D Y Patil in the afternoon and requested him to convene a special session of the Assembly on June 19 for a vote of confidence. He announced removal of 11 BJP ministers from his Cabinet.

With 118 MLAs in a House of 243,the JD(U) is four short of a majority. The party did not elaborate if it had the support of Independents. It is not likely to seek the support of the Congress,which has four MLAs. Opinion: BJP needs to think beyond,and ahead,in Bihar

The JD(U) emphasised that while Modi being named head of the BJP poll panel was an “internal matter” of the party,what left them aggrieved was the way it was done.

The Goa announcement regarding Modi had created anxiety and concern among party workers and led them to doubt if it was “a ceremonial prelude to his (Narendra Modi’s) nomination as prime ministerial candidate”,the JD(U) said.

“We cannot go into technical things… It was a matter of the perception that was being conveyed to party workers and people. We are a political party and have been deeply concerned with the happenings in the BJP over the past six-seven months,” Nitish said. According to him,the language used by the new BJP campaign committee chief sounded “frightening” to a section of the society.

Earlier,Nitish called a state Cabinet meeting,which was not attended by the 16 BJP ministers.

“The NDA government has been doing very well in Bihar and the world noticed the progress we made. In 2010,there was an attempt made to destabilise the equation (by central BJP leaders) but we got over it. However,the fast change of events in recent months pushed us to the wall,” the CM added,saying they were not afraid of the consequences.

Criticising the JD(U) decision,the Bihar BJP called it “politics of convenience and betrayal of the overwhelming mandate” the people of Bihar had given to the NDA in 2010.

Top BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi announced that the party would observe a ‘Vishwasghat Diwas’ through a peaceful Bihar bandh on June 18,a day before Nitish seeks a vote of confidence.

Sushil Kumar Modi also played up Narendra Modi’s EBC (Extremely Backward Class) identity,saying: “What is wrong if the son of a poor EBC family has the chance to become PM? For that matter,every BJP leader of significance has been called communal and later became secular. By that logic,Narendra Modi will also become secular after the 2014 polls.”

“The truth is that EBC votes of some people threatened to slide with Narendra Modi’s emergence,” Sushil Modi claimed.

Asked about the BJP demand that he put in his papers and take fresh oath as CM,Nitish said though their win in Bihar was a mandate for the NDA,it was he who had been projected as the leader of the alliance.

A 90-minute JD(U) meeting earlier passed a three-page resolution on the political situation and circumstances pushing it to snap ties with the BJP. In its press release announcing the split,the party said: “There is a rapid rise (in the BJP) of the hegemonic control of a leadership that does not represent the characteristics which we had emphasised for the continuation of the alliance. There is increased dominance of this leadership in the party (BJP) with intentions of thrusting its decisions on the alliance partner.”

Criticising “growing intolerance to any voice of dissent”,the JD(U) statement said: “The same autocratic personality cult with scant respect for democratic decision-making process has led to the demise of the Vajpayee-Advani era of a more tolerant,accommodating and inclusive model and framework of partnership.”

The announcement of the split was marked by high drama with a group of Muslim leaders hailing Nitish. Sunni Waqf Board chairman Mohammed Irshadullah,who was among those present,called it a “historic decision” and said Nitish was a “real” secular leader “unlike Lalu Prasad”.

Other onlookers said Nitish had done Sunday what Lalu had sought to achieve by stopping L K Advani’s rath yatra during the peak of the Ayodhya movement.

Sushil Modi,who refrained from making any personal attacks on Nitish,said the BJP would play the role of a constructive opposition. “We were the ones who made compromises and whole-heartedly supported the government’s schemes for Muslims,EBCs and Mahadalits. Can Nitish Kumar give an example when we did not cooperate?”

He said calling off the alliance,especially when the JD-U had given the BJP time till December to announce the NDA PM candidate,was “unfortunate and will go down as a black day in the political history of Bihar”.

In Delhi,BJP chief Rajnath Singh too attacked Nitish,saying he had split ways at a time when parties needed to rally together to oust the Congress. “Hum dhokha kha sakte hain par dhokha de nahin sakte,” Rajnath said addressing a party function.

According to sources,Rajnath has been in touch with BJP veteran and NDA chairman L K Advani,who expressed his despair over the move.

Modi supporters within the party,in this context,derived satisfaction from the fact that Rajnath Sunday warded off pressure from a section of the party to pander to Nitish. Rajnath,in fact,defended his decision to appoint Modi as head of the party poll panel,asking if he had committed a crime.

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