New Delhi: The BJP, especially its Bihar unit, seemed ready to for a split with ally JD(U) on Monday over the projection of Gujarat Chief Minister as NDA’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014.
Key Bihar BJP leaders including CP Thakur, Ashwini Chaubey and Giriraj Singh met party president Rajnath Singh today over Nitish Kumar’s belligerent stand against Modi.
“The way Nitish attacked Modi is unacceptable and a serious matter,” Giriraj Singh, who is a member of the Nitish cabinet, said, adding that the party should not take the insult any further and be ready for a fight if the need be.
“If you spit towards the sky then ultimately the spit will fall back on you,” Ashwini Chaubey said, indicating that the BJP feels that the JD(U) will harm its prospects if it decided to sever the 17-year-old alliance between the two parties.
CP Thakur, who is the state BJP president, had earlier said that the party was preparing for all 40 seats.
Also, as part of the poll assessment meets being held ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, BJP president Rajnath Singh has convened a meeting the Bihar state unit on April 18. The party chief will take stock of the emerging situation in the state.
Singh would be starting the poll assessment process by meeting leaders from Uttar Pradesh tomorrow.
Yesterday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s prime ministerial ambitions without naming him as his JD-U put pressure on the BJP to name its prime ministerial candidate by the year end.
It was the most unambiguous public expression of opposition within the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to Modi, widely seen in his own party and by his supporters as a prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP had hit back soon afterwards. Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said, "It is unfortunate if they concentrate their energies on our chief ministerial candidate and dilute the focus of removing the UPA. The BJP will continue its determined effort in this direction. We reject all unfounded inferences against Modi."
BJP chief Rajnath Singh called Modi its most popular leader but refrained from naming him the party`s prime ministerial candidate.
"Narendra Modi is the most popular BJP leader as of now. I cannot say who will be the PM candidate," Rajnath Singh said on a TV show. Congress termed it an internal affair of the NDA.
"JD-U is an ally of the BJP. We don`t have to comment on what they discuss among themselves," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
Interestingly, Nitish Kumar`s comments, which came a day after JD(U) vehemently denied having any truck with "enemy" Congress at the cost of "friend" BJP, are being interpreted in political circles as an attempt to position his party neutrally ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls if Modi is projected by BJP as its PM candidate.
Later, JD(U) Bihar unit president Vashista Narayan Singh said, "It is up to the BJP to decide on a secular candidate who also looks out for the common man."
“When Rajnath says PM candidate will be decided by the parliamentary board then what indivuduals say is not important,” senior JD(U) Shivanand Tiwari said.
Clearly, the JD(U) does not want to burn all bridges with the BJP just yet as going with the UPA would dilute its anti-Congress political; stand besides making it pay for the anti-incumbency against the UPA government.