BJP tries to pacify Nitish Kumar
The BJP queered the pitch for ally Lok Janshakti Party on Tuesday by asserting that only those parties which accept the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar can stay in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.
Senior leaders of the BJP also revealed a plan to write to the Election Commission to ensure that only NDA members could use the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while campaigning for the Assembly elections.
However, apart from issuing the threat, the party that leads the NDA government at the Centre in which LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan is a minister, stopped short of criticising his son Chirag, who is on a warpath with Nitish.
Neither did the BJP talk about any punitive action against the LJP, adding more to the prevailing confusion and lending credence to some secret pact between the two parties to undermine Nitish.
The BJP iterated an unbreakable alliance with Nitish’s Janata Dal United (JDU) and contended that he was the chief ministerial candidate irrespective of the poll results.
Senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi declared that there were “no ifs and buts” about it.
“Our alliance (BJP-JDU) is unbreakable. We are contesting the polls together. Nitish will be the chief minister irrespective of which party wins more seats or less. Our leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have made their stand on Nitish clear at least a dozen times,” Sushil said.
Nitish declared that he did not pay attention to undue criticism by others and that people had freedom to speak.
“Nitish was angry over the recent developments. He might have refused to come to the announcement of the seat-sharing deal. Our leaders had to assure him that they would clarify on the situation and the matter was diffused,” a senior BJP leader said.