Bihar BJP leaders to meet Gadkari over Nitish snub

New Delhi, June 22 (Calcutta Tube) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership is keen to continue the alliance with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Bihar, but not at the cost of the party’s self respect, party sources said here Tuesday.

A decision on the future of the alliance is expected to be taken at a meeting the BJP president is having with senior leaders from the state here Tuesday evening.

During their meeting with party chief Nitin Gadkari, the Bihar unit leaders are expected to vent their feeling of hurt over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to return the Kosi flood relief money to the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.

The sources said that any snapping of the 14-year-old ties with the JD-U would spell trouble for both the partners as it could lead to imposition of President’s Rule in Bihar where assembly polls are due later this year. It would also lead to fragmentation of the support base of the two parties, they added.

Gadkari met senior party leader L.K. Advani Monday evening to discuss the political situation in the state. Later, Bihar BJP president C.P. Thakur and party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain met Gadkari at his residence and a decision was taken to call senior leaders from Bihar.

Among the leaders expected to attend the meeting with Gadkari are party MPs from the state — Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy besides Hussain.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Health Minister Nand Kishore Yadav and Public Health Engineering Department Minister Ashwani Kumar Chaubey are also expected to attend the meeting.

Thakur had told IANS Monday that the state BJP expected Nitish Kumar to take ‘some conciliatory steps’ to assuage the ‘hurt’ to the party.

He said the BJP wanted the coalition to continue but the party would not compromise on dignity. ‘We want that the coalition should stay but with dignity,’ Thakur said.

He said the JD-U was also in favour of continuing the alliance.

BJP leaders said that further talks with JD-U will be held after building a consensus within the party.

The differences between Nitish Kumar and the BJP boiled over June 12 after newspaper advertisements featuring him and Narendra Modi appeared in vernacular dailies in Bihar. A peeved Nitish Kumar on Saturday returned the Rs.5 crore given for flood relief by the Narendra Modi government.

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