BJP seeks 'peaceful divorce'; JD(U) to take decision on Sunday



Zee Media Bureau

Patna: The rift in Bihar's ruling alliance sharpened on Saturday with the BJP telling Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to quit and order fresh polls if he decided to break the partnership, while the JD-U continued to attack Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and said the split was a "mere formality".

Janata Dal(U) president Sharad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met here on Saturday night, after which a meeting of party MPs, legislators and other office-bearers has been called for noon tomorrow and the party's decision on fate of NDA would be announced at 3 pm.

Emerging from the meeting with Kumar held the latter's official residence, Yadav told reporters that the meeting has been called at the CM's residence tomorrow at 12:30 pm to discuss the political decision.

"The decision of the party would be made public at press conference at 3 pm," he said.

Yadav said he had talks with many ministers and other office-bearers of the party tonight after talking to the CM separately.

Yadav met Kumar immediately on his arrival here from New Delhi this evening.

In tomorrow's meeting, leader of the party in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state ministers, state party president and senior office bearers and legislators have been called to discuss the future political step, JD(U) President, who landed here tonight from New Delhi, said.

After the one-on-one meeting with Kumar, senior ministers like Bijendra Yadav, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, PK Shahi, Shyam Rajak, Bihar JD(U) president Bashist Narayan Singh, party chief whip in Assembly Shrawan Kumar and Rajya Sabha member and a confidante of Kumar RCP Singh were called at the CM's residence to plan out things tomorrow, party sources said.

Earlier, in the morning the CM had a meeting with core committee at his residence. The meeting was participated in by state JD(U) chief Bashist Narayan Singh, ministers Vijay Chaudhary, PK Shahi, Rajya Sabha member and a confidante of the CM RCP Singh among others.

Though a decision on fate of NDA is awaited, sources said the "divorce" between JD(U) and BJP is certain and only a decision has to be made public.

BJP also seems to have accepted the fate of living without JD(U).

Signalling that all love has been lost between them, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Nandkishore Yadav, minister and state NDA Convenor turned down invitation by the CM for a meeting this morning to talk on alliance.

Yadav later said that he told the CM that since he is raising issue of Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, they are not authorised to talk on these issues which fall in the domain of national leaders who are already discussing these things with him and Sharad Yadav.

Meanwhile, BJP vice president CP Thakur said BJP ministers would hand over their resignations tomorrow after JD(U) makes an announcement of split in NDA.

Thakur also requested JD(U) leaders to enact 'divorce' peacefully.

"We have lived together for 17 long years so it will be better if divorce takes place peacefully," Thakur said making a request to JD(U) leaders to stop issuing "hard-hitting" statements against BJP leaders.

The day also saw RJD president Lalu Prasad making a scathing attack on Nitish Kumar accusing him of being an "opportunist" and said his opposition to Narendra Modi was just a "charade" to corner votes of Muslims.

He questioned Kumar's secular credentials saying why did not he resign from NDA in 2002 after Gujarat riots as Ramvilas Paswan did?

Prasad said Kumar had hosted RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat at One Anne Marg.

(With PTI inputs)