Patna/New Delhi: The ruling coalition in Bihar seems to be heading towards a split possibly on Sunday, with JD-U saying that "problems" and "difficulties" have arisen out in the wake of Narendra Modi's elevation in BJP.
Top JD-U leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and party’s national president Sharad Yadav, are expected to meet in Patna on Sunday to take a final call on the future of alliance with the BJP. JD-U Legislature Party Chief Whip Shravan Kumar has said that MLAs have been asked to be "in touch" and to be "available", though no formal meeting has been convened in this regard.


JD-U core committee meets     

The JD-U core committee meeting is underway at the Chief Minister's residence to discuss alliance issues. State JDU President Vashist Narayan Singh and several other top party leaders are attending the meeting.

Top Bihar BJP leaders refuse to meet Nitish

Meanwhile, state NDA convener Nand Kishore Yadav and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday refused to meet the Chief Minister. Yadav and Modi were invited by the CM for a talk on Saturday morning. Yadav said he told the CM that "our national leaders including party president Rajnath Singh, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Nitin Gadkari and others have been talking to you and Sharad Yadav on larger political issues including PM nominee...the subject does not fall in our jurisdiction hence there is no point meeting". "We are state leaders and have no authority to talk about Prime Ministership which only our national leaders can talk," Bihar NDA Convenor and state Road Construction minister Yadav said.

His remarks came against the backdrop of a media report that quoted Nitish Kumar as saying that BJP should publicly declare that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not be its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 polls.

Meanwhile, the Bihar Deputy Chief Minister has stopped using his official car and is using his private vehicle. All efforts to contact Modi did not bear any result. There are 11 BJP ministers in Nitish Kumar's cabinet, including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio. Sources close to him said that with the split of ties between JD-U and BJP looking inevitable, Modi has stopped discharging his official functions and will not do so till the stalemate continues.   Moreover, majority of Bihar ministers are not attending their offices and they have stopped discharging their official functions for the past couple of days.

While JD-U came under attack from the ally's Bihar unit, the central BJP leadership maintained that it wants the alliance in the interest of opposition unity and honouring the people's mandate. Back-channel confabulations between top brass of BJP and JD-U are on since Wednesday to save the alliance which has been shaky since Gujarat Chief Minister was anointed head of BJP election campaign committee. Sources said while BJP is firm that the decision – which is the bone of contention between the two parties – is non-negotiable, it is making all efforts to convince JD-U that the alliance is needed. JD-U chief Sharad Yadav appeared hopeful of a rapprochement but sources in the party described the situation as "a point of no return".

In a clear indication of things to come, party general secretary Shivanand Tiwari accused BJP of "forcing" JD-U to come out of NDA by projecting Narendra Modi. "BJP wants that the blame for breaking the alliance comes on JD-U but the fact is otherwise. We had made our stand clear long time back. Our opinion on Modi was well-known. We never invited Modi in Bihar for any election that the NDA fought there," Tiwari said. "Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also made his opinion about Modi's projection clear without naming him at the party's national executive in Delhi some time back. Even after this, they made him the campaign committee chief and projected him as their leader. They are forcing us to quit the NDA," Tiwari said.

Bihar may have to pay price if alliance ends: Jaitley

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley sent out a stark message to the Bihar Chief Minister over a possible JD-U split with the NDA, saying the state might have to pay a price if the alliance ends.

"All I will say is that Bihar was in a terrible situation for years and in the last seven-eight years, I think things have improved. Therefore, it is in everyone's interests, including the interest of the state, to keep the political and social alliance which has been able to deliver an impact.


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