Mumbai: With JD-U reportedly looking to walk out of the NDA, Shiv Sena on Thursday sounded a note of caution for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying BJP was like ‘oxygen’ to his government, which could land in ‘ICU’ in the event of a split.
    
"BJP is like oxygen to the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar as it is for Shiromani Akali Dal government in Punjab," Sena, the BJP's oldest ally, said in party mouthpiece "Saamana".
    
"Sabse bada rupaiya...sabse badi satta is the norm in present times. When there is adequate oxygen supply to stay in power, why should anyone create problems for themselves and get admitted to the ICU. Be it Nitish Kumar or anybody else," an editorial in the mouthpiece said.
    
It also said today's politics was more about ‘pragmatism and practicality than idealism’.
    
Underlining the importance of Hindu votes, the editorial said, "Give respect to earn respect. Just like Muslim votes, Hindu votes can also prove to be decisive and this has been illustrated by the Maharajganj Lok Sabha by-poll results."
    
There were reports suggesting that BJP workers did not actively back JD-U nominee in Maharajganj leading to his defeat despite a high-profile campaign launched by Nitish Kumar for his confidante and Bihar's Human Resource Minister PK Shahi.
    
The editorial hit out at the Congress for gloating over the recent developments in the BJP.
    
"Advani had resigned from all posts in BJP but not as chairman of NDA. If Congress says it is still strong despite TMC and DMK quitting UPA, who told them that NDA has weakened," the editorial said, adding, "it is the Congress which is responsible for weakening of moral values in politics."

Congress refuses to read too much on JD-U

Meanwhile, Congress reacted coldly towards Janata Dal-United’s indications on joining the Sonia Gandhi-led party.
    
Responding to a question on whether Congress will ally with Kumar's party if snaps ties with BJP, party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said, "This is hypothetical. We are as of today in mood to go it all alone. What will happen in future, nobody knows."
    
Congress also dismissed the idea of federal front floated by leaders like Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu being the latest to join the list.

Appearing unimpressed by recent strain between BJP and JD-U, he quoted from Bollywood numbers to describe the relationship between the two allies as one of changing moods of a married woman who one day sings of going back to her parents’ home and the very next day vouching to live and die together.
    
"It is their internal matter. Today Nitish Kumar is with BJP. As long as any party is with BJP, there is no possibility of us going with them.”
    
"There will not be any agreement in principle with a party as long as it is with the BJP," he said citing the example of JMM in Jharkhand with whom Congress refused to have any truck till it was with BJP.
    
Though Ahmed did not indicate any willingness on the part of Congress to do move along with JD-U, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said Congress is ‘open’ to all secular parties.
    
"Any secular party can be an ally... We are open to all secular parties... now and in the future," he had said.
    
A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity felt that Kumar's government will remain stable even if it walks out of the NDA as no party including Lalu Prasad's RJD would like to vote in the Assembly with BJP to oust his government.

(Agencies)

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