BJP core group meet today as standoff with Nitish continues | delhi | Hindustan Times
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BJP core group meet today as standoff with Nitish continues

delhi Updated: Jun 22, 2010 10:01 IST

The suspense over strained BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar continued with BJP leadership remaining indecisive on the fate of the tie-up after a series of meetings between party leaders Nitin Gadkari and LK Advani amidst reports of differences on the issue.

Soon after arriving in New Delhi this evening, Gadkari, accompanied by senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu, held a meeting with Advani, NDA Working Chairman.

This was followed by another meeting at Gadkari's residence where Naidu, Bihar unit Chief CP Thakur, and party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain were present. General Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal also joined them, sources said.

"BJP President Nitin Gadkari discussed in detail the political situation in Bihar with our senior leaders. He has decided to call a meeting of party's Bihar unit Core Group on Tuesday to discuss the issue. He will take a decision on the matter after this," Hussain told reporters after the meeting.

Advani, who is in favour of the 15-year old alliance continuing in the run-up to the assembly polls, also discussed the developments with Thakur.

BJP is divided on the issue of continuing its alliance with JD(U) as most of the prominent leaders of the party at the Centre and in Bihar feel the coalition should continue.

Advani and his close associates as well as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi are in favour of ties with JD(U).

Modi, who had stayed away from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Vishwas Yatra on Monday as a mark of protest against the latter's returning Rs five crore flood relief money to Narendra Modi govewnment in Gujarat, was seen talking to Kumar at a function in Patna.

After the tough talk and retaliation, BJP on Tuesday appeared keen on not breaking its alliance with JD(U).

"The potter does not want his pot to break," Hussain said hinting that despite differences with JD(U), BJP would like the alliance to continue.

Kumar too tried not to ruffle any more feathers on Tuesday. In the face of repeated questions from mediapersons, he tried to play down the faultlines in the alliance saying "relax. Why take tension?"

Sources in both BJP and JD(U) said better sense is likely to prevail as snapping ties would harm the prospects of the two parties in the coming assembly elections later this year.

"While Nitish Kumar may gain Muslim support in some pockets by breaking its alliance with BJP, this may be nullified by loss of upper caste and other votes in a sizable number of constituencies," a senior BJP leader said.

Relations between JD(U) and BJP, which date back to 1996, were soured during the BJP national executive in Patna when Kumar had objected to an advertisement praising Narendra Modi for giving flood relief to Bihar in 2008.

However, since then JD(U) has sent overtures to BJP saying despite the developments of June 12, the alliance would stay intact.