Commenting on the apparent rift between the BJP and JD(U), BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said: “We have had no communication from any JD(U) leader about any rift or split, our coalition is intact.... There is lots of talk about a tussle between our party and Nitish. Till now, we know nothing of it. If we are together, then we will rule. If we are not, we will not be able to live up to the people’s expectations.” JD(U) president Sharad Yadav had expressed his distress at the way senior BJP leader L K Advani’s resignation episode panned out. He had said: “A new situation has emerged. After the JD(U) defeat in Maharajganj Lok Sabha by-election, the way the BJP and JD(U) leaders have been making statements, the party will have to consider it. We will take a decision on continuance of alliance with the BJP soon.” While both the BJP and JD(U) have started preparing for life away from each other,
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to Nitish on Tuesday evening. A day later, Nitish’s emissary K C Tyagi met the Trinamool chief in Kolkata.
The BJP leaders in private said Nitish and Sharad are known for their anti-Congress credentials and might stay away from the Congress and opt for a larger federal front as proposed by Mamata. The Bihar BJP leaders also went into a huddle at Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s residence in Patna to discuss the situation.
Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey said his party was in favour of continuing in the alliance and would be the last to go for a break-up. “The BJP worked hard for the formation of the NDA and even made sacrifices to end the jungle raj of the RJD in Bihar. So, we will try our best to see that it is not broken,” he said. The BJP is preparing to contest all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar alone.
The parting of ways between the JD(U) and BJP would mean that Lalu Prasad-led RJD would be rubbing its hands in glee as it hoped to better its ties in the state. “It was a love marriage by consent. Now they are headed towards a divorce. What should I do,” Lalu said with a chuckle.