The JD(U) ended ties with the BJP and walked out of the National Democratic Alliance on Sunday, exactly a week after the saffron party chose Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to spearhead its campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.
“They (the Bharatiya Janata Party) need 272 seats to claim the prime ministership. They have been misled into thinking there is an upsurge in favour of one person,” Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said without naming Modi.
“At a time when the alliance should have been expanded and new allies added, they have chosen to make it difficult for allies to keep supporting them.”
Kumar, who had made it clear to the BJP that the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate should have secular credentials, sat alongside Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav when the political divorce was announced.
“Unka rasta, hamara rasta alag (our paths are different),” Yadav said at a packed press meet at 3pm, dissolving the 17-year-old NDA in Bihar. He also resigned as the convenor of the national coalition.
The JD(U)’s pullout, ahead of the general elections due next year, leaves the BJP-led NDA with only two other constituents — the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Asked about the split, when the BJP had made Modi its campaign committee chief and not the prime ministerial candidate, Kumar said the “tajposhi” (coronation) in Goa on June 9 left little room for doubt.
The JD(U) also ended the eight-year-old coalition government in Bihar, removing 11 BJP ministers from the state cabinet.
"We had to recommend it (the removal) because despite being in the council of ministers and not resigning, they refused to attend a cabinet meeting and to attend to routine files… The end could not have been any different,” Kumar said.
He added the JD(U) would convene a special session on June 19 to seek a fresh confidence vote. “We are confident of the numbers.”
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with JD(U) president Sharad Yadav during the Party's National Exicutive Meeting in New Delhi. (Mohd Zakir/HT file photo)