No compromise on self-respect, BJP tells JD-U

Last Updated: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 17:43

Patna: In the midst of a standoff
involving Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi,
the BJP today sent a clear message to ally JD(U) that it was
acting with "maturity" by taking "all along" but would not
compromise on self-respect.

"We are a mature party which has a mature leadership
with resilience.... We are showing maturity. For us, our
self-respect is most important. We are not going to compromise
on our self-respect," party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy
said.

He was replying to questions on the strains in
BJP-JD(U) ties after Kumar yesterday cancelled a dinner for
the BJP top brass attending the party`s national executive,
apparently upset over his photograph being shown alongside
that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in a newspaper
advertisement.

Kumar had also criticised the Gujarat Government`s
claim that it had liberally donated aid to Bihar during the
2008 Kosi floods in another newspaper advertisement, calling
it "uncivilised".

Defending Modi on the advertisement issue, Rudy said,
"He is a leader and a successful chief minister and the way he
is running the state is being hailed by his supporters and
some overzealous among them have made efforts to widen his
appeal by showing what is the truth."

Modi, however, has maintained silence over the
controversy. The Gujarat Government today again brought out
full page advertisements focusing on the development in the
state.

Rudy said the BJP was a mature political party whose
leadership has resilience and it "respects every leader,
partnership and alliance" and it is the "job of a mature
political party to take all along".

He insisted that the party leaders attending the
national executive meet were "fortunate that we are being
hosted with the best possible arrangement," a statement meant
to praise the state government headed by Kumar, leading the
JD(U)-BJP coalition in Bihar.

He said he was not aware whether the Bihar Chief
Minister was angry and that a section of the state BJP wants
to give a "fitting response" to the Chief Minister.

The BJP spokesman also downplayed the issue of
advertisements brought out by Gujarat Government in prominent
newspapers today, highlighting the achievements of the Modi
administration.

"State governments and the Central government come out
with such advertisements regularly," he said.

With Kumar ordering an inquiry into the controversial
advertisement showing him with Modi, the row deepened today as
the state police carried out searches at the office of the ad
agency Expression Advertising.

The police seized the PDF files and e-mails received
by the agency in connection with the advertisements, official
sources said.

The authorities swung into action after Kumar`s
secretary Chanchal Prasad wrote to the Senior Superintendent
of Police Amit Jain, asking him to go into the matter.

Official sources said that the money for the
advertisements was paid in cash in Surat and efforts were on
to verify the source of the payment.

Meanwhile, a BJP minister from Bihar today lashed out
at the Chief Minister questioning how he had "suddenly
discovered that Modi is communal".

"How come he treats BJP as his friend but finds its
icon Modi unacceptable. The chief minister has been trying to
create a secular image for himself by publicly distancing from
Modi," state Cooperative Minister Giriraj Singh told reporters
here.

"Kumar had never expressed his antipathy for Modi in
the past when he was a minister in NDA government at the
Centre from 1998-2004, while the latter was the organising
secretary and later general secretary of BJP before being
elevated as Gujarat chief minister," Singh said.

The BJP, meanwhile, suggested that the issue of ties
with JD(U) did not come up for discussions at the meeting of
the party executive. Rudy said that the BJP has come to Patna
to focus on national issues like price rise, naxalism and
terrorism.

"We are a national party.... We will settle all
debates and issues before we leave," he said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 17:43

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