Ahead of its weekend review,the JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar today gave clear signs yet again of an emerging split with BJP,saying there are problems and the situation is ‘difficult’ even as a senior party leader lashed out at BJP.
Returning from a two-day ‘seva yatra’ for consultations with the JD(U) leadership tomorrow over the alliance issue,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said,”The situation is such that there are problems (in continuing the alliance).”
“Dua dete hain jeene ki,dawa karte hain marne ki. Dushwari ka sabab yeh hain. (They blessing is for life but the medicine is for death). That is the crux of the problem,” he told reporters in Patna.
He was replying to a question whether it is going to be the end of the 17-year alliance between JD(U) and BJP.
He said the situation is difficult and what is to be done in this difficult situation is being discussed by all.
“On the one hand,some are giving suggestions that it is such an old alliance that it should continue. On the other hand,the conditions are such that there are problems,” Kumar said.
Point of no return
While party chief Sharad Yadav appeared hopeful of a rapprochement,sources in the party described the situation as “a point of no return”.
In a clear indication of things to come,party general secretary Shivanand Tiwari accused BJP of “forcing” JD(U) to come out of NDA by projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
“BJP wants that the blame for breaking the alliance comes on JD(U) but the fact is otherwise. We had made our stand clear long time back. Our opinion on Modi was well-known. We never invited Modi in Bihar for any election that the NDA fought there,” Tiwari said.
“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also made his opinion about Modi’s projection clear without naming him at the party’s national executive in Delhi some time back. Even after this,they made him the campaign committee chief and projected him as their leader. They are forcing us to quit the NDA,” said Tiwari.
On BJP asking JD(U) leaders to exercise restrain,Tiwari said,”They (BJP) want to force us out of the alliance. That is why they did this knowing well the stand of their oldest ally.”
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had earlier said,”We hope that at least their (JD-U)senior leaders should ask their other leaders to exercise restrain on the language they use”.
The view among a number of JD(U) leaders is,however,that after Modi’s projection and the hype surrounding his elevation,”no other options are left” than parting ways.
Asked about possibility of any rapprochement with BJP,Yadav,however,said,”Why not? Options are still not closed.”
Poaching of BJP MLAs
JD-U’s formal split with the NDA seems imminent as JD(U) president Sharad Yadav arrives here tomorrow for a crucial meeting with party legislators to discuss the issue,amidst reports that BJP MLAs are being poached by the party to cobble up a majority.
“Sharad Yadav ji is coming to Patna tomorrow morning,” Bihar JD(U) president Bashist Narayan Singh said.
The Bihar JD(U) chief said that the timing and venue of the ‘discussion’ over the situation arising from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment as the chairman of the BJP’s campaign committee chief for 2014 Lok Sabha polls would be decided later.
Unconfirmed reports have surfaced here that Nitish Kumar’s party is making efforts to wean away a section of BJP MLAs to get the required numbers for continuation of the government minus the BJP.
The reports were dismissed by both JD(U) and BJP leaders as mere ‘kite flying.’
“We require support of just four MLAs for running the government minus BJP. So why will we do all these things (poaching BJP legislators),” state JD(U) spokesman Rajiv
State NDA convenor and senior BJP minister Nand Kishore Yadav said,”It is absolutely not possible.”
“Is it possible to ferret away such a large number of MLAs from BJP to escape anti-defection law?” Yadav wondered.
BJP has 91 members in the current 243-member Assembly.
BJP leaders would be meeting at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi at 3 pm today to review the political situation.