Patna: Accusing JD(U) of betrayal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said the breakup with the 17-year-old partner in the NDA will be marked as a black day in the history of Bihar politics but remained firm on its decision on making Narendra Modi poll panel chief for 2014 general elections. BJP said JD(U) walked out of the NDA despite repeated assurances it would be consulted whenever the prime ministerial candidate is chosen.
The formal announcement of the split was made by JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, who also resigned as the NDA convenor. He claimed the JD(U) had warned the BJP before its National Executive meet in Goa, during which Modi was made Chairman of the Election Committee. "The discourse after BJP's Goa meet is disturbing. We have decided to break our alliance with the BJP," he said.
However, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj tweeted the breakup was "sad" and "unfortunate". Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and had been criticised for this by BJP leaders from Bihar, lashed out at the estranged ally, saying JD(U) has declared BJP secular or communal depending on its convenience.
He also took a dig at JD(U) for its reservations on Narendra Modi saying, "Some people are unhappy that a person who does not belong to a dynasty, who is the son of a poor father who sold tea is rising."
"When Nitish Kumar met BJP President Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley he was assured that whenever a decision on the Prime Ministerial candidate is chosen, he will be consulted. Even when Narendra Modi was anointed as Election Campaign Committee head, JD(U) said it is an internal matter of BJP. What happened in the last four days to change this?" Sushil Modi said.
He announced that BJP will organise a Bihar bandh on June 18 to protest against the "betrayal" of the JD(U). He said JD(U) has betrayed the people of Bihar as they had voted for the NDA in the state.
Referring to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP leader said the person who is being called communal by JD(U) today will become secular after the 2014 election results. Sushil Modi said Nitish Kumar should have stepped down from the post of Chief Minister as he was chosen for the post by the NDA and not just JD(U).
BJP has always followed "coalition dharma", he maintained, adding that in the past there were several occasions when the alliance could have broken but BJP made all efforts to ensure its continuance. Nitish has recommended to the Governor removal of BJP ministers from the government.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)