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BJP flexes muscles after Nitish snub

Patna/New Delhi, June 20
The BJP and ally JDU today appeared to be on a collision course with Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi boycotting Nitish Kumar's functions over Gujarat flood aid row and another BJP leader daring the chief minister to announce snapping of ties if he wished so.

Apart from Modi, state minister and BJP leader N K Yadav, who represents the Patna City constituency, also pulled out from the Chief Minister's 'Biswas Yatra' (confidence march), a day after Nitish Kumar snubbed the BJP by returning Rs five crore of flood relief money to the Narendra Modi Government.

"I don't want to accompany (Nitish) Kumar for the meeting for the arbitrary attitude of the Chief Minister in returning the flood relief money to the government of Gujarat," a fuming Modi told reporters here after cancelling his programme with the chief minister at Paliganj in Patna district.

Taking a hardline, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said what Nitish Kumar has done is a "childish act" and that if the chief minister does not want to continue the alliance with BJP, "let him clearly announce it.

"There is no use of doing this drama," Sinha said in Ranchi, maintaining that he did not understand the logic behind Nitish returning the relief funds to Gujarat. However, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav asserted that his party's alliance will BJP will continue despite the "unfortunate" episode involving Bihar chief minister and his Gujarat counterpart that started after the publishing of ads showing Narendra Modi and Nitish clasping hands.

"Our alliance with NDA is old and our intention is that it should continue. The incidents of June 12 were unfortunate but are now behind us. What has passed has passed. After June 12 we fought Rajya Sabha polls together," Yadav said in New Delhi where BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain met him. Hussain, a BJP spokesperson, later said the top party brass will discuss the developments in Bihar tomorrow. "BJP central leadership is keeping an eye on the political situation in Bihar. Our party president and other senior leaders are not in the capital. They will be here tomorrow and we will discuss the issue," he said.

Sharad Yadav maintained that the events of June 12- when Nitish expressed his ire at an advertisement issued by Bihari migrants thanking Modi for flood relief to Bihar- will not harm the JD(U)-BJP alliance and added, "That has passed and we should look ahead". PTI





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