LK Advani's decision to quit all BJP posts on Monday has put a question mark on the saffron-party led National Democratic Alliance, with its second biggest constituent the Janata Dal (U) saying the NDA was now on “ventilator support”.
Even the Shiv Sena hinted that the alliance was on a shaky ground.
“The NDA was forged with the efforts of Atalji and Advaniji and the JD(U) decided to join the NDA because of the understanding it had with the two senior leaders,” JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also the NDA’s convener, said. Party’s general secretary KC Tyagi said the alliance was on “ventilator”.
In Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar, who makes no bones about his unease with Narendra Modi’s growing stature in the BJP, said the JD (U) would soon come out with its reaction to the Gujarat CM’s appointment as the BJP’s campaign chief.
Kumar denied reports that BJP chief Rajnath Singh spoke to him before Sunday’s announcement about Modi.
While Advani has resigned his BJP positions, he continues as NDA chairman.
Expressing shock over the BJP patriarch’s decision, Yadav said it was a serious matter and “not good for the NDA’s health”. “I’m deeply saddened. Our leaders will meet to review the situation,” he said.
Significantly, while the JD (U) has objected to Modi being the possible prime ministerial candidate with an eye on Bihar’s Muslim vote, even the Shiv Sena left the BJP confused when late Bal Thackeray had said Sushma Swaraj was the best candidate for the post.
When asked if the December 31 deadline set by the JD (U) for the BJP to declare its PM candidate still held, the Bihar CM said, “The discussions would start very soon.”
The only support came from the Shiromani Akali Dal, whose leader Sukhbir Singh Badal said the resignation was an internal matter of the BJP.
The JD (U)-BJP coalition has been ruling Bihar under Kumar since 2005. The NDA bagged 34 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2009 polls.