PATNA: BJP today claimed that JD(U) in Bihar was headed for a split between two power centres led by the incumbent Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his predecessor Nitish Kumar even as the ruling party trashed the remarks saying they "lacked substance".
"Both the incumbent chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his predecessor Nitish Kumar are speaking in contradictory voices and so are some ministers owing allegiance to the two leaders, giving an impression that the JD(U) is headed for a split," former deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told PTI.
There was also confusion in the ruling party ranks as to who will lead its campaign for the next assembly polls, he said, adding that some ministers close to the present chief minister have publicly said that the elections will be fought under Manjhi's leadership even as the former chief minister Nitish Kumar had got a resolution passed by the party that he will lead the campaign next time.
"Going by the affairs in the JD(U), it was obvious that a deep division has set in with Manjhi leading the JD(U)-M, while the other faction, called JD(U)-N being led by Nitish Kumar," Modi said.
The BJP leader charged some senior JD(U) ministers with showing "disrespect" towards Manjhi saying that the Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh had contradicted the Chief Minister's remark that he was misled by the senior bureaucrats and district magistrates on assessment of drought situation in Bihar.
Singh contradicted the Chief Minister on the floor of the house last week saying that the bureaucrats had submitted a fair report to the chief minister on the drought situation, days after Manjhi had accused officials of misleading him on the issue, Modi said.
Due to the "confusion" in JD(U) leadership, the government has become "a joke and governance a casualty", the senior BJP leader said and asked the ruling party to seek fresh mandate as it has lost both "morality and credibility to rule Bihar".
Modi, however, said that BJP was neither interested in engineering split in the JD(U) nor causing collapse of the state government.
He claimed that the ruling party will fall apart due to its own contradictions.
Meanwhile, the state JD(U) president Bashisth Narayan Singh dismissed Modi's claim of an imminent split in the ruling party.
"I can not comment on a claim made by a senior BJP leader that lacks substance," he told reporters who sought his reaction on Modi's claim.
Singh said that he does not consider the former deputy chief minister's claim worthy of reaction after what he did in the legislative council a few days ago.
He had accused the former chief minister Nitish Kumar of instigating his MLCs to get into a brawl with the BJP counterparts but later expressed regret over over his statement.