BJP leaders in Bihar refuse to meet Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar

PATNA: With the ruling coalition in Bihar appearing headed for a split, BJP leaders in the state today refused to meet Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“We were called by Nitish Kumar, but this morning we read in a newspaper that he has raised the issue of prime ministership. Our national leaders can only speak on this issue and we are not authorized to discuss it. So, there was no point in meeting the Chief Minister,” BJP leader and NDA convener in Bihar Nand Kishore Yadav said.

His remarks came against the backdrop of a media report that quoted Nitish Kumar as saying that BJP should publicly declare that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not be its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 polls.

JD (U) had yesterday said that “problems” and “difficulties” have arisen in the coalition in the wake of Narendra Modi’s elevation in BJP.

Top JD (U) leaders, including the Bihar Chief Minister and party chief Sharad Yadav, are expected to meet here tomorrow to take a call on the future of its alliance with BJP.

JD (U) Legislature Party Chief Whip Shravan Kumar had said that MLAs have been asked to be “in touch” and to be “available”, though no formal meeting has been called.

While JD (U) came under attack from the ally’s Bihar unit, the central BJP leadership has maintained that it wants the alliance in the interest of opposition unity and honoring the people’s mandate.

Returning from a two-day ‘seva yatra’ for consultations with the JD (U) leadership over the alliance issue, Kumar had said yesterday that, “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. (The blessing is for life but the medicine is for death). That is the crux of the problem,” he had 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.