NEW DELHI: Amid the growing rift with JD(U) in Bihar, BJP Monday said a decision on continuing the alliance will be taken by party president Mr Nitin Gadkari after consultations with the state unit.
Bihar state unit chief Mr C P Thakur called on senior BJP leader Mr L K Advani Monday morning to discuss the status of the party’s alliance with JD(U).
After the meeting, Mr Thakur told PTI, "Advani has asked me to meet Gadkari by this evening to apprise him of the new developments in the alliance. A decision on the issue will then be taken by the party president."
Top BJP leaders at the Centre and in Bihar favour continuance of the alliance but at the same time are prepared to go it alone in the Assembly elections in the state which are likely to be held in October.
Mr Advani and his group, as well as Bihar deputy chief minister and BJP leader Mr Sushil Modi do not want to snap the 15-year old ties with JD(U).
"We are prepared to fight the elections alone if we are forced to do so. But, we would like the alliance to continue," Mr Thakur said.
He expressed confidence that a decision, either in favour of the alliance with JD(U) or against it, will be taken within a fortnight.
JD(U) president Mr Sharad Yadav had also said on Sunday that though the events of June 12, when Bihar Chief Minister Mr Nitish Kumar returned the flood relief money given by Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi, were "unfortunate", it would not affect the alliance.
In Patna, Mr Kumar sought to downplay the flood aid row with ally BJP, saying there was no cause for tension.
"Tension mat lijiye, relax kijiye (Don’t take tension, relax)," Mr Kumar replied cryptically to a volley of questions by media men before leaving for his Biswas Yatra in Nalanda district.
He was asked about suggestions by BJP leaders that he should reconsider his decision on returning rupees five crore for the Kosi flood relief to the Gujarat government or spell out his strategy on whether he wanted to continue the alliance with the saffron party. Earlier, the chief minister and his deputy and senior BJP leader, Mr Sushil Kumar Modi were seen talking with each other at the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court Ms Rekha Manoharlal Doshit at the Raj Bhavan.
Mr Modi had Sunday decided to stay away from the Biswas Yatra at Paliganj.
State minister and NDA Convenor Mr Nand Kishore Yadav, who represents the Patna City constituency, had also pulled out from the Chief Minister’s ‘Biswas Yatra’ on Sunday.
The crisis in the NDA emerged after Mr Kumar reacted angrily to an advertisement in the local dailies on the eve of the June 12-13 BJP national executive meeting which said that the Gujarat government, led by Mr Narendra Modi, contributed liberally towards relief for victims of the 2008 Kosi floods.
Mr Kumar had termed this claim as "uncivilised", saying any gesture of help should not be proclaimed publicly and threatened to return the unspent amount to Gujarat.
The JD(U) leader’s posturing is understood to be in keeping with his attempt to woo the Muslim electorate in
He had also vociferously objected to another advertisement showing him clasping hands with Mr Narendra Modi, the hardline Hindutva face of key ally BJP.