Patna, June 24: The NDA in Bihar has deferred its monthly workers’ meeting, scheduled to be held tomorrow, apparently to ease the recent discomfort between the ruling JD(U) and its ally BJP.
The official reason cited for the last-minute change in the schedule by the chief minister’s office is that though Nitish Kumar would be in the state capital, he would be busy preparing for the Planning Commission meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A source close to Nitish said: “As the state is striving to increase its plan size from Rs 24,000 crore to Rs 28,000 crore, a lot of figures and facts have to be collected followed by discussions with officials of various departments.”
However, sources in the alliance indicated that the development had more to do with than only official work. Monday would have been the first such meeting of the BJP and Dal workers after the recent war of words between the two parties over a “secular prime ministerial candidate” and presidential candidates. The NDA’s monthly meeting is held on the last Monday of a month.
Nitish had called a meeting of all JD(U) spokespersons on Sunday and asked them to stay away from launching any individual attack on leaders belonging to the alliance partner (BJP). JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav had openly expressed his resentment over the apparent support to the UPA’s economic policies from the party’s national spokesperson, Shivanand Tiwary. Yadav said the BJP and JD(U) were very much allies and in the NDA.
Senior BJP and JD(U) leaders hoped that the decision to postpone the meeting would “cool off the tempers”.
“It will, however, take time both in the BJP and the JD(U) to cool down tempers and it was felt that a joint meeting of the workers of both parties in such a short time would not be without its risks. It may have led to unpleasant scenes with the workers and leaders hurling charges against each other,” said a BJP minister.