BJP tells Bihar leaders not to react to JD-U’s comments

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) With fissures appearing in its alliance with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday instructed its leaders from Bihar to restrain from reacting on the comments from the other side.

According to party sources, in a meeting of the BJP’s Bihar coordination committee with party president Rajnath Singh, the state leaders were asked not to respond to accusations made by JD-U leaders.

The JD-U is the second largest party in National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and runs an alliance government with BJP in Bihar.

“It was decided that only the leaders authorised by party will comment if needed. We have the faith of the people of Bihar and we don’t want to be the one to break the alliance,” a BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

There has been tension between the two parties as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a strong contender for the prime minister’s post from BJP, but the JD-U has objected to this saying Modi does not have a secular image.

Modi has been accused of allowing communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said that the political situation in Bihar was discussed and the state leaders have been asked to strengthen the organisation there.

“The state leaders briefed central leadership about the current political situation and it was discussed. Party president asked them to strengthen the party organisation in Bihar,” he said.

“We have to strengthen the party in the state,” he said.

Asked if there were chances of fighting next elections without JD-U, Hussain said there was no discussion on the issue.

“We (BJP and JD-U) are together against Congress which is cheating the people of Bihar,” he said.

Rajnath Singh had also said Wednesday that BJP does not want any alliance partner to leave.

The meeting was chaired by Rajnath Singh, and attended by Leader of Opposition Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley. Party leaders Ravishankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Hussain, Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav, Ashwani Chaubey, and C. P. Thakur were also present.

The meeting comes in the series of meetings of state coordination committees of BJP preparing its road map for the next general elections.

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