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Clouds on ally unity clear

Patna, Oct. 2: For C.P. Thakur, it’s the time to salvage his party’s honour following salvo at the JD(U).

The state BJP president said today that he had not meant that the party’s alliance with the JD(U) was over with his words that the national party was ready to go it alone in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “There is no chance of a split in the BJP-JD(U) alliance. Before every election, the BJP takes stock of preparations in all seats. It is a routine matter. How many seats the party will actually contest is a matter of future decision,” Thakur said today.

He added that he had made the statement — during the party’s national executive meet on September 26 — in the context of activities going on in the state like organizational polls and membership drive. “I did not say that the alliance between the BJP and the JD(U) was over,” he stressed.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi did his bit of fire-fighting also. “The BJP is a political party which needs to be strong. The JD(U) is our ally. How can we help our ally if we ourselves are weak,” he said at a public function on Tuesday.

Modi supporters point out that Thakur’s remark should be seen in the light that the party needed to “activate” its own workers. Thakur’s statement, however, had triggered off a war of words. “If the BJP is ready to fight 40 Lok Sabha seats, we are also ready to contest 40 seats,” said the JD(U) spokesperson, Shivanand Tiwari.

Main opposition party, the RJD, was naturally pleased. “The divorce of the BJP and the JD(U) is imminent,” said the RJD chief, Lalu Prasad, declaring that chief minister Nitish Kumar had become “more arrogant than even Ravan”.

While the BJP minister, Giriraj Singh, defended Thakur’s statement, some of them who want the alliance to continue are worried over the growing mistrust between the allies. “We might have to to release clarification on the alliance daily,” said a weary senior BJP leader recalling the rally held by the BJP MP from Purnea, Uday Singh, and how the deputy chief minister had to clarify that the show did not have the sanction of the BJP leadership.

Ever since Nitish has started the Adhikar Yatra, controversies over the alliance have kept on resurfacing. Nitish’s statement that he would support any formation that accords special status to Bihar had several BJP leaders insisting that the chief minister was ignoring the language of alliances. Later, it was left to the chief minister himself to clarify that this statement was for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.