Nitish Kumar signals end of JD (U) alliance with BJP

Ahead of its weekend review, the JD(U) gave clear signs yet again of an emerging split with BJP, saying there are problems.

Updated: Jun 14, 2013, 18:04 PM IST

Patna/New Delhi: Ahead of its weekend review, the JD(U) on Friday 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.

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 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," Tiwari told a news agency.

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."

Yadav said that while JD(U) considered the elevation of Modi as the BJP`s internal matter, but it finds the speeches and remarks surrounding his anointment as going against the tenets of the national agenda under which the Opposition alliance had functioned so far.

"We have objections to the remarks made by BJP leaders after that. At Goa, speeches that happened went beyond the national agenda," he said.

While maintaining that the alliance of NDA exists for now, he added, "but the alliance has to continue under the norms of national agenda of NDA under which the coalition has functioned so far."

Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also met Yadav to discuss the political situation in the country. Both Yadav and Yechury denied any political motive behind the meeting.

The JD(U) president also dismissed reports of his party issuing any ultimatum to BJP to declare its prime ministerial candidate in a couple of days.

"It is wrong to say that we have given BJP any ultimatum. That report is wrong. But we are definitely concerned over the sequence of events in BJP in last few days," Yadav said, adding that these events and other issues would be discussed at a two-day party meeting beginning tomorrow.

Yadav refused to talk about the possibility of a `Federal Front` mooted by Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"The question does not arise now. NDA still exists. Where has NDA broken up that you are talking of a Third Front?" he asked.

When asked about JD(U)`s majority in Bihar Assembly, Yadav said, "Where has the alliance broken up now that you are talking about all this?"

Also on Friday, Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey said the JD-U will be responsible if the alliance collapsed in the state.

The BJP has also called a meeting of party leaders at Sushil Modi`s residence to discuss the strained ties between the BJP and JD-U.

"It is an emergency situation, so more meetings would be held to chalk out a strategy," BJP`s CP Thakur told the media.