PATNA/NEW DELHI: Bihar’s ruling allies JD-U and BJP were in open war on Sunday with the latter daring the Chief Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar to snap ties following the Gujarat flood aid row.
Angry over Mr Kumar returning the Rs 5-crore flood relief money to the Narendra Modi government, the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Sushil Modi of BJP boycotted the Chief Minister’s functions on Sunday.
Upping the ante, senior BJP leader, Mr Yashwant Sinha said what Mr Kumar has done is a “childish act” and that if the Chief Minister does not want to continue the alliance with BJP, “let him clearly announce it”.
“There is no use of doing this drama,” Mr Sinha said in Ranchi, maintaining that he did not understand the logic behind Mr Kumar returning the relief fund to Gujarat.
Apart from Mr Sushil Modi, the state minister and BJP leader, Mr N K Yadav, who represents the Patna City constituency, also pulled out from the Chief Minister’s ‘Biswas Yatra’ (confidence march).
“I don’t want to accompany Kumar for the meeting for the arbitrary attitude of the Chief Minister in returning the flood relief money to the government of Gujarat,” a fuming Mr Sushil Modi told reporters here after cancelling his programme with the Chief Minister at Paliganj in Patna district.
However, the JD-U chief, Mr Sharad Yadav asserted that his party’s alliance with the BJP will continue despite the “unfortunate” episode involving the Bihar Chief Minister and his Gujarat counterpart that started after the publishing of ads showing Mr Narendra Modi and Mr Kumar clasping hands.
“Our alliance with NDA is old and our intention is that it should continue. The incidents of June 12 were unfortunate but are now behind us. What has passed has passed. After June 12 we fought Rajya Sabha polls together,” Mr Sharad Yadav said in New Delhi where BJP leader, Mr Shahnawaz Hussain met him.
Mr Hussain, a BJP spokesperson, later said the top party brass will discuss the developments in Bihar on Monday.
“BJP central leadership is keeping an eye on the political situation in Bihar. Our party president and other senior leaders are not in the capital. They will be here tomorrow and we will discuss the issue,” he said.
Mr Sharad Yadav maintained that the events of June 12 — when Mr Kumar expressed his ire at an advertisement issued by Bihari migrants thanking Mr Narendra Modi for flood relief to Bihar — will not harm the JD-U-BJP alliance and added, “That has passed and we should look ahead”.
Opposition leaders RJD chief Mr Lalu Prasad and LJP leader, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan hit out at Mr Kumar on the flood relief issue and accused him of enacting a “drama” to get minority votes in the upcoming assembly elections.
They also dared the BJP to sever ties with the JD-U for the “humiliating” treatment meted out to it “if it has any self-esteem left”.