The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Monday that it was keen to continue its coalition with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), but wanted Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar to take some conciliatory steps to end the strain in relations between the two parties.
Bihar unit BJP president CP Thakur said the state unit was "hurt" at the chief minister's decision to return the Rs 5 crore flood relief money sent by the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.
He said Nitish Kumar should take "some conciliatory steps and the two parties should work in the spirit of forgive and forget".
He said the BJP wanted the coalition to continue but the party would not compromise on dignity. "We want the coalition should stay but with dignity," Thakur told IANS.
He said Nitish Kumar had "not gained" by stoking a controversy and returning the money sent by the Gujarat government for flood relief in 2008.
Thakur said the JD-U was also in favour of continuing the alliance.
The rift between the BJP and JD-U intensified Sunday after the BJP Deputy Chief Minister in Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi did not attend the scheduled Vishwas Yatra with Nitish Kumar.
Nitish Kumar had taken umbrage at his photographs with the Gujarat chief minister appearing in newspaper advertisements without his consent during the BJP national executive meeting in Patna more than a week back.
Kumar had also objected to the advertisement mentioning the relief provided by the Modi government during the Kosi floods in 2008. The unutilised portion of relief money was returned by Nitish Kumar Saturday. Assembly elections are due in Bihar in October.