Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday refuted reports of a split in the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) over the Women's Reservation Bill but admitted to differences in the party on the issue.
Kumar's support to 33 per cent reservation for women in parliament and the state legislatures has put the JD-U in a dilemma as party president Sharad Yadav has opposed the measure, which the Rajya Sabha passed on Tuesday.
Sharad Yadav, along with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, is demanding a quota for Muslim women and women belonging to backward castes within the 33 per cent reservation.
Talking to reporters in Patna, Kumar dismissed possibility of a split in the party over the issue.
"There is no chance of a split in the JD-U, the party is united," he maintained.
Reacting to a report published in an English daily in New Delhi that 17 out of 20 party MPs met Sharad Yadav at his residence Monday to throw their weight behind him, Kumar termed this mere speculation.
"I simply ignored it (the report)," he said.
Kumar, however, admitted that there were differences in the party over the Women's Reservation Bill.
"There is an honest difference in the JD-U on the issue," he said, adding that the differences were only "ideological".
"There is no other problem," he said.
The divide in the JD-U over the issue came to the fore Tuesday when party members in the Rajya Sabha supported the legislation in spite of Sharad Yadav's opposition to it.