The two major Left parties, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), on Sunday backed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to return to Gujarat the Rs.5 crore given for flood relief.
"Our party feels it is a correct decision," CPI-M politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai said in New Delhi.
S. Sudhakar Reddy, deputy general secretary of the CPI, described Nitish Kumar's decision as an act of "self-respect for Bihar".
He also said it was high time that Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) severed ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The JD-U and BJP run a coalition government in the state.
"Nitish Kumar and the JD-U have nothing common with the BJP's communal agenda. He (Nitish Kumar) and his party have always stood for secularism and development. It is high time for them to sever all ties with the BJP," Reddy said.
He said that opportunism for power in Bihar had united the JD-U and the BJP.
"If Nitish Kumar severs ties with the BJP, it will be good for the state's development and it also help strengthen secular forces," Reddy maintained.
A miffed Nitish Kumar Saturday returned the Rs.5 crore given for flood relief over advertisements featuring him and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the latter's reference to the aid provided by Gujarat during the 2008 Kosi floods.
"Modi's reference to the flood relief amount given to Bihar by his government is an insult for the people of Bihar. Nitish Kumar's decision to return that money is an act of self-respect," Reddy contended.
Pillai said the CPI-M has always maintained that the JD-U should sever ties with the BJP.
Pillain said the party was trying for a broad alliance with other Left parties including the CPI, the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) and the Forward Bloc before the Bihar assembly polls later this year.
Asked whether the Left parties would support JD-U, if it cut ties with the BJP, Pillai said: "We will take an appropriate decision then."