PATNA: The rift between BJP and JD(U) in Bihar's NDA seemed to be ever-widening at the iftar party, hosted by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday. Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (of the BJP) reportedly did not greet each other. This comes amid reports of disputes between the two allies.
Host Ram Vilas Paswan sat between them and kept speaking to the leaders as they allegedly remained in stony silence.
Speculation about the began after Nitish Kumar stood up to leave the iftar party and shook hands with all present there but allegedly did not even smile at Sushil Kumar Modi, who had stood up in decorum when Kumar got up from his seat.
"It was clear how the rift is getting wider by the day over mere denial of some ministerial berths", according to few some leaders from both parties present at the iftar function, preferring anonymity.
Meanwhile, some reliable sources said that a new third front may see the light in Bihar ahead of the next state assembly elections with JD(U) distancing from NDA and the Congress and the HAM distancing from the Mahagathbandhan.
"Though it would be premature to speculate, nobody can rule out the possibility of the JDU, the Congress and the HAM coming together to form the new third front", a local leader quipped.
Meanwhile, Former state CM and HAM party chief Jitan Ram Manjhi made a surprise entry at the party.
At another iftar party, hosted by the HAM, on Monday, former CM Rabri Devi and leaders of both NDA and the Mahagathbandhan were present. Responding to a query, Devi said that the 'return' of Nitish Kumar to the Mahagathbandhan would require a collective prerogative of leaders of alliance leaders. She didn't sound negative over Kumar's alleged comeback.
On Sunday, it was reported that BJP leaders had given a miss to the yearly iftar hosted by JDU. Similarly, no JDU leader was seen at the iftar' hosted by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi.
Bihar's iftar parties have gained traction this year after JDU refused to be a part of the Union Cabinet.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on cabinet expansion: Vacancies from JDU quota in the cabinet were empty so JDU leaders were inducted, there is no issue with BJP, everything is fine pic.twitter.com/376FlJVdFF— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2019
However, Nitish Kumar has repeatedly denied any misunderstanding between the NDA allies.
NDA has made a clean sweep in the state in the recently held Lok Sabha polls winning 39 out of 40 seats.
(With ANI inputs)