JD(U) downplays advertisement row



JD(U) downplays advertisement row New Delhi: After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took umbrage at advertisements showing him with his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, his party JD(U) on Sunday downplayed the issue saying that the alliance and relationship between it and the BJP is quite old.

"Our alliance and relationship is quite old...An unpleasant incident took place yesterday. It has passed...," JD(U) President Sharad Yadav told a news agency.

He, however said that it was customary to take permission from the head of the state -- whether it was the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister -- before their name or photograph appeared in advertisements.

"The way the posters came up was not proper as the party (JD-U) was not consulted. The party had raised objections to that," Yadav said, adding that an inquiry had been instituted to clear the situation.

He said the party has no reason to disbelieve the version of BJP which says the advertisement was given by an agency.

Yadav also tried to put to rest speculation about the tie-up between BJP and JD(U), saying the "relations between the two parties is quite old".

Snubbing the coalition partner, Kumar had yesterday cancelled a dinner for the top brass of the BJP -- gathered in Patna for the party's National Executive -- in disapproval of an advertisement featuring him and Modi and another on Gujarat's aid during Bihar floods two years ago.

The actions of Kumar have brought strains in the JD(U)-BJP relationship and a section of the party feels that it could even lead to parting of ways.

Kumar, who heads the JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar, has kept Modi at an arm's length with the aim of wooing Muslim votes in his state.

PTI