Nitish likely to announce decision on ties today
statesman news service
PATNA, 15 JUNE: A day ahead of the “Day of Judgment”, the BJP suddenly hardened its posture today refusing to honour the invitation extended by chief minister Nitish Kumar for talks, which indicated there was now no love lost between the 17-year-old partners. With no hopes of rapprochement in sight, all eyes are now focussed on tomorrow&’s crucial meeting of the JD-U scheduled at the chief minister&’s residence to be chaired by the party&’s national president Mr Sharad Yadav. It is said the JD-U has already made up its mind to break the alliance with the BJP but a formal announcement is likely to be made by Mr Yadav tomorrow.
Accusing its partner of having become adamant for a separation, the JD-U alleged they had invited the BJP leaders ~ deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state NDA convener Nand Kishore Yadav ~ for talks at the CM&’s House but they did not turn up. “Mr Modi and Mr Yadav had been invited for talks by the chief minister today. We kept waiting for them to turn up but they did not. Now, we have no option other than discussing the issue at the party forum and take a final decision from our side,” said education minister Mr P K Shahi, emerging out of a meeting of the party core committee earlier in the day. The JD-U chief, Mr Sharad Yadav, is expected to hold a meeting of the party legislators tomorrow after which a final decision about ending the alliance with the BJP will be taken, JD-U leaders said.
However, the BJP leaders said there was no point in meeting the chief minister when the issues raised by him were beyond their jurisdiction. According to the state NDA convener, the chief minister had invited them to discuss the issues of NDA prime ministership and matters concerning Mr Narendra Modi on which they were not authorised to make any assurance. The deputy CM has stopped using his official vehicle and has reportedly returned all government facilities.
The BJP, meanwhile, has made it clear there was no question of the party taking a U-turn over the issue of Mr Narendra Modi. The party made this declaration after holding an emergency meeting at the residence of the deputy CM, Mr Modi this evening. “There remains no question of taking a U-turn,” state BJP chief Mr Mangal Pandey told reporters soon after the party meeting, adding the JD-U leaders were making divergent views. Further, he asked the chief minister and the JD-U national president to clear the confusion over the alliance.
The BJP declared it was prepared to sit in the Opposition adding it would let Mr Kumar know what the Opposition meant. “The chief minister will very soon come to know the role of the Opposition. Let us sit there,” one of the BJP ministers, Mrs Sukhda Pandey, said today. A majority of the BJP leaders asked the chief minister to resign on moral grounds and and seek a fresh mandate.
Cong keeps options open, p5
We are awaiting their (JD-U&’s) decision. We want to continue the alliance in the interest of the people of the state of Bihar ~ Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson
– BJP boycotts meeting convened by Mr Nitish Kumar to discuss ties
– Crucial meeting of JD-U at the Bihar CM’s residence on Sunday
– JD-U has already made up its mind to break the alliance with the BJP
– A formal declaration will be made by Mr Sharad Yadav on Sunday