Patna: Four of the twelve Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) led Bihar government attended the cabinet meeting here Tuesday after Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi instructed party ministers not to boycott it.
With the BJP set to meet in New Delhi to discuss the rift with its ally JD-U in Bihar, BJP ministers were in a mood to boycott the cabinet meeting. But after the intervention of Modi, who is in the national capital, four of them including Roads Minister Prem Kumar, attended the meeting.
Apart from Modi, Health Minister Nand Kishore Yadav and Public Health Engineering Department Minister Ashwani Kumar Chaubey are also in New Delhi to attend the party`s core committee meeting to discuss the BJP-JD(U) rift.
Cooperatives Minister Giriraj Singh was in Patna till Tuesday afternoon but suddenly left for Muzaffarpur two hours before the cabinet meeting. He is one of the BJP leaders who had openly questioned the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar`s decision to return the funds donated by the Gujarat government for the Kosi flood victims.
Earlier, a senior BJP leader told IANS: "Our ministers have decided to boycott the cabinet meeting."
But they later changed their mind. "If the BJP ministers boycotted the meeting, it could only further intensify the war of words between the two allies," a BJP leader said.
A day after the BJP said its alliance with the JD-U was intact, the BJP ministers are still fuming over Nitish Kumar`s decision to return the money given by Gujarat to battle the 2008 floods in the state.
BJP legislator Rameshwar Chowrasia said the people of Bihar would not pardon Nitish Kumar.
The differences between Nitish Kumar and the BJP began June 12 when he expressed displeasure over newspaper advertisements featuring him and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the references to the aid provided by Gujarat. The ads appeared on the day the BJP`s two-day national executive meet was to start here.