New Delhi/Patna, June 15 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to quit and seek a fresh mandate if the ruling BJP-JD-U coalition splits.
BJP leader and Minister Chandra Mohan Rai said: "Nitish Kumar should resign as chief minister because people of the state gave the mandate to the NDA in 2010."
Rai said Kumar should not continue as chief minister if his JD-U and the BJP part ways in the state.
Another BJP leader and MP Hukumdeo Narain Yadav too made the same demand.
Earlier in the day, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the media that a meeting had taken place at his residence here to analyze, understand and find the situation in Bihar.
"Dharmendra Pradhan, the General Secretary of the BJP and the in-charge of Bihar, was present, Shahnawaz Hussain, the Member of Parliament from Bhagalpur and national spokesperson of BJP, was present. And both Shahnawaz and myself belong to the state of Bihar, therefore we have added interest and concern about Bihar. We analyzed, reflected upon the situation in Bihar. We also talked to our leaders in Bihar and at the national level. And what we decided today is that the Government of Bihar has been formed by the enormous support of the people by voting both the JD (U) and BJP," said Prasad.
"It was an alliance, which was trusted by the people, and the government has done a good job, including by the BJP Ministers and others. Therefore, purely in the interest of Bihar this alliance must go, that is how I feel. Rest, we will await for a decision to be taken by the JD (U). We would like the NDA to continue. BJP is the biggest party of the NDA. Therefore, all the restraint needed for that we shall maintain," he added.
Prasad, however, said that the BJP is keeping a serious watch on the issues in Bihar.
"It is our state, we hope that the alliance continues. In the event, there is any other decision surely we will reflect upon that," he added.
NDA convenor Nand Kishore Yadav and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi earlier in the day refused to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Yadav told the media in Patna that they were called by Nitish Kumar, but this morning they read in a newspaper that he has raised the issue of prime ministership.
Yadav said only the national leaders can speak on this issue, and added that he and Sushil Modi are not authorised to discuss it.
"He had called me and Sushilji. But he has raised the issue as to whether Narendra Modi would be the Prime Ministerial candidate. The BJP national leadership is in touch with him, he should discuss this issue with the national leadership and not with us," he said.
Nand Kishore Yadav's remarks came against the backdrop of a media report that quoted Nitish Kumar as saying that BJP should publicly declare that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not be its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 polls.
Nitish Kumar, who returned from a tour to Patna yesterday, made it clear that there is a strain in the ties between the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP, and said that the current situation of the coalition is very difficult.
"And, we have to now decide on what to do in this difficult situation. Talks are going on in almost all quarters. On the one hand, they are saying that the alliance should continue for its very old. On the other hand, there are difficulties," said Kumar. "Dua dete hai jeene ki, dawa karte hai marne ki (You wish me a long life, but offer medicines that will poison me)," he added.
JD (U) has 118 MLAs in 243-member Bihar assembly and needs the support of only four more MLAs to reach the magic figure.
There are 91 MLAS from BJP, 21 from RJD and one each from LJP and CPI in the state assembly. (ANI)