Patna, March 3: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s dominance at the BJP’s national council has virtually unnerved its ally JD(U), prompting an uneasiness in the party over its future course of action.
A day after Modi’s speech at the BJP show in New Delhi, a section of the JD(U) leaders felt that the announcement of his name as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate was just a matter of time.
The alliance of the BJP and the JD(U) was under strain for sure after this development and the conflicting stands of Nitish and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP on the Union budget, one among them said.
None of the JD(U) leaders uttered a word on parting ways with the BJP but Nitish’s gratitude to Union finance minister P. Chidambaram for promising to revisit the norms of according special status to states is being seen as a hint that he was not averse to an alliance with the Congress.
While speaking to reporters in Katihar yesterday, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan alleged that Nitish was trying to fool both the UPA and the NDA by issuing conflicting statements.
“Nitish has been with the BJP for over 16 years and showed his loyalty to it on several occasions. Yet, he is speaking about secularism. His recent statement welcoming the Union budget was aimed at creating an impression that the Congress was after him,” he said.
A day after Narendra Modi was lauded by the BJP top brass, Union minister and NCP leader Tariq Anwar today suggested Nitish to decide quickly if he wanted to remain in the NDA under the leadership of the Gujarat chief minister. He said the ball was in Nitish’s court after the BJP’s national council show in New Delhi.
The JD(U) would buy time till the March 17 Adhikar Rally in New Delhi for sure. “But after March 17, Nitish would have to take the final call,” said a JD(U) MP.
The BJP’s national council meet and Narendra Modi’s speech were closely monitored by the JD(U) leaders, including those camping in New Delhi for the Adhikar Rally.
A senior JD(U) leader pointed out that the BJP leaders had been claiming that the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate would be decided after consulting the NDA partners. “But after the national council show, we doubt if the BJP leadership would be able to name anyone else but Narendra Modi,” said a JD(U) MP.
Some JD(U) leaders treated the remark of Bihar BJP minister Giriraj Singh as a warning.
“The entire delegation shouted in favour of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. BJP president Rajnath Singh specially praised him. There is no need for a formal announcement. He is our prime ministerial candidate,” said Singh.