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Cracks appear in JD(U)-BJP alliance
Tribune News Service

Patna, January 6
After 15 months of honeymoon, cracks are finally visible in JD(U)-BJP relations in Bihar.

Despite his good equation with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Modi could not prevent the “near revolt” by a section of BJP MLAs and MLCs against Nitish’s style of functioning.

Besides, Modi also became the target of attack of his fellow MLAs for holding six portfolios which allegedly delayed the proposed expansion of the cabinet by depriving aspiring candidates.

The anger shown by the people’s representatives at the BJP legislature party meeting here yesterday even forced the BJP ministers in the Nitish cabinet to skip the crucial cabinet meeting convened by the Chief Minister.

The said issues also reportedly dominated the proceedings of the state secretariat meeting of the BJP held here today.

The broadside against the Nitish government was primarily a reflection of frustration of the MLAs against the failure of senior party leaders, including Sushil Modi, to assert their position in the Nitish government.

Sources in the BJP disclosed that the MLAs took strong exception to the way senior BJP ministers in the Nitish cabinet were virtually functioning as “subordinates” despite the fact that the support of 55 BJP MLAs was crucial for the survival of NDA government in Bihar.

At the meeting a senior minister even reportedly offered to resign in protest against the attitude of Nitish Kumar. The Minister vented his ire against the transfer of his secretary without his consent.

Broadly, the focus of attack was confined to issues like violation of “coalition ethics” by JD(U), sidelining BJP MLAs on transfer and postings of DMs, SPs and BDOs, and the insignificant portfolios given to BJP compared to JD(U).

Sources disclosed that MLAs like Ashok Singh, Ram Pravesh Rai, Sanjay Sarwagi and a few others objected to the way Nitish Kumar allowed the bureaucracy to dominate over the political masters.

It was learnt that angry BJP MLAs have decided to send a delegation to place their views before the party President Rajnath Singh in Delhi soon.

Besides, a state BJP delegation would also meet Nitish Kumar.

The state BJP President Radhamohan Singh said he has full faith in Nitish and expected him to address the grievances of the party MLAs.

He also said during the meeting the BJP took stock of the performance of the NDA in past one year.

Sources in the JD (U), on the contrary, disclosed that Nitish was unhappy over the slow progress of a few departments like the Urban Development and Roads, against the people’s expectations which were held by the BJP ministers.

Nitish was reportedly happy with the performance of the Sugarcane minister, the youngest in his team, Nitish Mishra whose department already attracted over Rs.5,000 crore of investments.

Besides, the state cabinet yesterday okayed the setting up of 10 Ethamol plants by a Chennai-based company with an estimated investment of over Rs 13,000 crores, which again was linked to sugarcane department.

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