Short of number, BJP plays safe

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  • Published 19.05.14

The BJP appears to be in no mood to dabble with the exercise of government formation despite chief minister Nitish Kumar’s open challenge them to form a government simply because they do not have the numbers.

In the House of 243, the strength of the BJP is 89. They would require another 33 MLAs for majority in the Assembly.

With chances of a major crack in the JD(U) slim, getting the required number would be an uphill task for the BJP.

Taking this into count, the party opted for the option of dubbing Nitish’s resignation a drama.

A senior BJP leader recalled that Nitish had a track record of withdrawing his resignation. As the railway minister, Nitish had quit over an accident but later rejoined the ministry.

Terming the episode of Nitish’s resignation a political “natak” (drama), a delegation of the state BJP leadership led by former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi met Governor D.Y. Patil on Sunday and acquainted him of recent political developments in the state.

The team comprising Modi, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Nand Kishore Yadav, and state president Mangal Pandey called on Patil in the evening. After coming out from Raj Bhavan, Modi said the BJP had requested the governor to talk to each MLA separately if the JD(U) staked its claim for forming of the government and after accepting the letter of support from every legislator he should call the party to form the government.

Modi said: “Apart from talking separately to each MLA, the Raj Bhavan should also accept the support letter from other parties backing the government.”

The official line of the BJP is it is neither in favour of the dissolution of the Assembly nor mid-term elections.

But with the current political situation created by Nitish, there is a political instability in the state.

Modi said: “As Nitish doesn’t have the majority in the floor of the House and the strong resentment against him after the debacle of the JD(U) in the Lok Sabha elections, there are chances of horse trading by the JD(U).”

On the day the general election results were announced, Sushil Kumar Modi had demanded the chief minister to tender his resignation accepting the moral responsibility of his party’s debacle in the polls.

He had asked Nitish on Friday if he would attend the meeting called by the Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi and accept the grants given by Centre headed by him.

A day on, Nitish — who had returned the relief fund from the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government during the Kosi floods — tendered his resignation.

The state BJP is watching each and every development minutely. A meeting of senior leaders was held at Sushil Kumar Modi’s official residence on Sunday morning.

Later in the day Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that several Dal MLAs had not attended the Sunday’s meeting convened by Nitish.