Following the mounting tension in the Bihar coalition after Nitish Kumar’s objection to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as the prime ministerial candidate, the BJP told the Bihar Chief Minister to resign and seek a fresh mandate if he decides to break the alliance.
BJP minister Chandra Mohan Rai said that the 2010 mandate in Bihar was for the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the BJP to govern the state jointly. “Nitish Kumar should resign as chief minister because people of the state gave the 2010 mandate to the NDA (National Democratic Alliance),” said.
Another BJP leader and MP Hukumdeo Narain Yadav too made the same demand. “Nitish Kumar should resign and go for fresh elections (if the alliance breaks).” The war of words is widely expected to lead to the snapping of 17 years of BJP-JD-U alliance. Earlier yesterday, Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi refused to meet Kumar, saying the Narendra Modi issue needed to be taken up with the BJP national leadership.
A source close to the chief minister said Kumar had invited Sushil Modi and Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP to discuss the political situation. Yadav, also the state convenor of the NDA, admitted that Kumar had invited Sushil Modi and him for discussions.
Till recently, Sushil Modi was considered not only close to Kumar but also an enthusiastic backer of alliance with the JD-U. He has changed his attitude. JD-U leader and Bihar Education Minister PK Shahi reiterated that the BJP should clear its stand on Narendra Modi. “It is not possible for JD-U to be part of an alliance under the leadership of Narendra Modi,” Shahi said.
All eyes are now on JD-U president Sharad Yadav, who will hold meetings with Kumar and other party leaders. One JD-U leader said that the party had decided to snap its alliance with the BJP and that a formal announcement would be made today.
JD-U set to break up?
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said that Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) was on the verge of breaking up, as over 50 of its legislators were set to join the BJP. Prasad launched a scathing attack against JD-U Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD-U president Sharad Yadav during the day. Ruling out a split in his own Rashtriya Janata Dal, he said Nitish Kumar was trying to end the alliance with the BJP only to woo Muslim voters.
He questioned the Bihar CM’s silence during the 2002 riots in Gujarat when the latter was a cabinet minister in the NDA government.