Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s attack on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and his deadline to BJP for the announcement of a “secular” prime ministerial candidate has had the state BJP men seething. Nothing short of a pullout from the coalition in the state would please them.
On Monday, a day after Kumar’s comments, the state leaders made a beeline for Delhi with the pullout demand. And though the central leaders advised restraint, they were hard to pacify.
The delegation that met party president Rajnath Singh — including ministers Ashwini Choubey, Chandramohan Rai, Giriraj Singh and deputy speaker of the Bihar Assembly Amarendra Pratap Singh — was itching for war.
“This (a pullout) will be a fitting reply to Nitish Kumar,” said one of the ministers.
“Nobody has the right to say anything against Modi,” said Choubey. “The BJP does not need a certificate on secularism from anyone,” added senior leader Rameshwar Chourasia. “It is not the BJP’s responsibility to maintain the alliance,” declared Giriraj Singh.
Despite being closer to the pro-alliance group led by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP chief Mangal Pandey joined the chorus of protests and for the first time, roundly condemned the JD(U).
“The alliance partner’s behaviour over the last two days was entirely against the alliance dharma,” Pandey said.