JD(U) meets today, may take a final call on ties with BJP
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: As the ruling coalition in Bihar appeared headed for a split, top JD(U) leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and party chief Sharad Yadav, are expected to meet in Patna on Saturday to take a call on the future of its alliance with BJP.
However, reports today suggested that Nitish Kumar has made the final decision to end the 18-year long ties with the BJP and will formally call it quits on Sunday.
The meeting comes after Nitish Kumar on Friday said the situation in the alliance was now "difficult", while the BJP accused his party of trying to split it.
"The situation is difficult now," Nitish Kumar told the media when he was asked about relations between the two parties.
The Chief Minister then recited an Urdu couplet: "Dua detey hai jeene ki, dawa detey hai marne ki (they wish me well, but the medicine they have offered will kill)".
Without taking names, he said some BJP leaders wanted the alliance between the two parties in the state to continue "but are not ready to listen us".
The appointment of Narendra Modi as BJP's election campaign committee chief, over which JD(U) has strong reservations, has brought the long standing alliance between the two parties to a precipice and could split the BJP-led NDA.
The JD(U) also expressed unhappiness over BJP leader LK Advani's decision to give up key party posts. BJP leaders have accused the JD-U of interfering in the BJP's internal affairs.
JD(U) Legislature Party chief whip Shravan Kumar said MLAs have been asked to be "in touch" and to be "available", though no formal meeting has been called.\
The party gave clear signs yet again of an imminent split with BJP, saying there are problems and the situation is "difficult" while a senior party leader lashed out at BJP.
While JD(U) came under attack from the ally's Bihar unit, the central BJP leadership maintained that it wants the alliance in the interest of opposition unity and honouring the people's mandate.
However, Sharad Yadav appeared hopeful of a rapprochement but sources in the party described the situation as "a point of no return".
According to JD(U) leaders, the party is in touch with over a dozen BJP legislators, including ministers.
There was some good news for the JD-U though. Four of the six independent legislators have announced their support to the government led by Nitish Kumar.
Even the Congress, with its four legislators, is likely to support Nitish Kumar if he dumps the BJP.
The JD(U) has 118 legislators, four short of majority in the house of 243 members.