While the BJP leadership on Thursday appeared pandering to partner JD(U) to save the alliance,the undercurrents within the saffron camp indicated that they were not keen to halt Narendra Modi in the tracks to save the alliance in Bihar. In fact,party general secretary in-charge of Bihar Dharmendra Pradhan took a belligerent stance against the JD(U),saying the BJP had firmed up its senapati (commander-in-chief) for the next Lok Sabha elections.
I am in favour of the alliance because the people of Bihar had given the mandate to BJP-JD(U) to save the state from the jungle-raj of Lalu Prasad. The BJP has sacrificed so many things for this alliance, Pradhan said in an apparent reference to the BJPs projection of Nitish Kumar as the Chief Minister when his party was a junior partner. People of the country are fed up with the Congress regime. The responsibility of defeating the Congress rests on the shoulders of the BJP. It is in this backdrop that party president Rajnath Singh has taken a very considered decision to appoint Modi as senapati for the electoral battle against the Congress, Pradhan added.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other BJP leaders as well. Only a strong BJP can be the basis of a strong coalition, BJP general secretary Murlidhar Rao tweeted indicating that strengthening the NDA was not the first priority for the BJP ahead of the elections. Our emphasis is to win maximum possible seats on our own to become a magnate for other allies after the elections, said another party functionary.
These sentiments,however,ran contrary to the days developments where top BJP leader sought to court the JD(U) leadership against breaking the alliance in Bihar. While Rajnath and Nitish spoke to each other,former BJP president Nitin Gadkari called on NDA convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav.
With no re-assuring commitment coming from the BJP,Yadav said,NDA exists at the moment and we are trying to figure out how the situation which has of late taken a bad shape can be rectified. We are also talking to our important workers. A meeting of the party,he said,will consider the issue. He did not disclose the timing or venue of the meeting.
When told that the position of L K Advani has weakened in his party,Yadav said,His position has not weakened for us. We have the same respect for him as before.
When a reporter asked him if Advani was acceptable to the JD(U) as the prime ministerial candidate,Yadav said,It is not for me alone to decide. Asked to comment on the proposed Federal Front and the Kolkata visit of JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi,Yadav said,He (Tyagi) has not talked of a Federal Front.