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JD(U)-BJP rift: Nitish keeps latter guessing

Last Updated: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 21:45

New Delhi/Patna: After the tough talk and
retaliation, BJP Monday appeared keen on not breaking its
alliance with JD(U) in Bihar while Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
kept the cards close to his chest.

"The potter does not want his pot to break," BJP
spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said hinting that despite
differences with the JD(U), the BJP would like the alliance to
continue.

He, however, made it clear that though his party
wanted to work with the JD(U) for the development of Bihar, it
would not compromise on self-respect.

Stepping in to apparently cool down tempers, senior
leader L K Advani, who is in favour of the 15-year old
alliance continuing in the run-up to the Assembly polls in
the state likely in October this year, discussed the
developments with Bihar`s BJP unit chief C P Thakur.

After the meeting, Thakur said he would apprise
BJP president Nitin Gadkari who would decided on the future
course of action.

In Patna, the Chief Minister sought to play down the
flood aid row with coalition partner BJP, saying there was no
cause for tension.

"Tension mat lijiye, relax kijiye (don`t take tension,
relax)," he replied cryptically to a volley of questions from
reporters before leaving for his Biswas Yatra in Nalanda
district.

His comments came a day after senior BJP leader
Yashwant Sinha accused him of being childish by returning
the Rs 5 crore given by the Narendra Modi government for
the Kosi flood victims and dared him to snap the alliance.

Kumar and his deputy and senior BJP leader, Sushil
Kumar Modi were seen talking with each other at the
swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Justice of the Patna High
Court Rekha Manoharlal Doshit at the Raj Bhavan.

Modi had yesterday decided to stay away from the
Biswas Yatra at Paliganj.

Accusing Kumar of enacting a "high drama", Congress
said the Chief Minister`s attempt to woo the minorities has
been "thoroughly exposed".

LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan said if Kumar felt that
BJP is a communal party, he should snap ties with its ally and
not keep "clinging to power".

The crisis in the NDA emerged after Kumar reacted
angrily to an advertisement in the local dailies on the eve of
the June 12-13 BJP national executive meeting which said that
the Gujarat government, led by Narendra Modi, contributed
liberally towards relief for victims of the 2008 Kosi floods.

Kumar had termed this claim as "uncivilised", saying
any gesture of help should not be proclaimed publicly.

He had also vociferously objected to another
advertisement showing him clasping hands with Narendra Modi,
the hardline Hindutva face of key ally BJP.

PTI

First Published: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 21:45

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