The JD(U)'s reported impatience with the BJP delay in taking a call on its choice for the post of prime minister is unlikely to force the hand of its NDA ally on this vexed issue.
A clear indication to this effect was provided in Patna on Thursday by Bihar NDA convenor and road construction minister, Nand Kishore Yadav, counted among the top leaders of the BJP. The BJPcentral parliamentary board will take a call on the PM candidate in due course of time. A decision in the matter will be taken only after consulting the party's NDA allies, Yadav told HT, reiterating the BJP position in the matter.
"Our alliance has stood the test of time. I'm sure it will hold," said the NDA convenor, who, for long, has helped cover the gray areas in the often tumultuous relations between the two allies.
The reading within the BJP is, that the JD(U) will not take a precipitating call on the alliance till such time as the party reveals its preferred PM nominee.
Thatis precisely why it's in no hurry to do so. Yadav's articulation of the BJP position is significant, coming, as it does, just two days ahead of a crucial meeting of the JD(U)'s national council, which gets underway in New Delhi on Saturday.
Speculation has been rife that the party would reviewits ties with the BJP at the two-day meeting, apparently concerned by the elevation of Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, to the top echelons of its saffron-hued ally. Such speculation is only natural, considering the atmosphere at present, said JD(U) MP and national spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari, who has often articulated his party's unease with Modi's credentials to lead the NDA.
The JD(U) national council will surely discuss the political situation at hand. What consensus emerges in course of discussions, remains to be seen, Tiwari told HT on Thursday.
It also became clear during the day, that neither the JD(U) nor the BJP leadership was prepared to go any further on the ties between the two parties, ahead of the meet.
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav advised the media to utilise its time more fruitfully than to provoke tension between the partners in the NDA as well as the coalition that rules Bihar under Nitish Kumar's leadership.
Senior BJP leader and Bihar fisheries minister Giriraj Singh described the possible deliberations at the JD(U) national council meeting as ean internal matter of the party.
The JD(U) leadership is watching closely the fault lines emerging within the BJP over the leadership issue, with Modi march forward being countered by pushing the name of veteran leader L K Advani. The JD(U) has stopped short of taking sides between the two.
All chief minister Nitish Kumar said on the sidelines of his janata durbar here on Monday was that he had respectfor Advani. He declined to comment on Modi.