BJP leaders refuse to meet Nitish Kumar

Patna, June 15 (IANS) Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi refused to meet Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Saturday despite a request amid tensions in Bihar's ruling coalition, sources in both parties said.

A source close to the chief minister said Nitish Kumar had invited Sushil Modi and Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP to discuss with him political situation.

Yadav, who is also the state convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), admitted that he and Modi were invited by Nitish Kumar for discussions.

"We told him that it is better to approach the BJP national leaders," Yadav said.

According to BJP leaders close to Sushil Modi, he had expressed his inability to discuss the issue of Janata Dal-United's stand over Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who Nitish Kumar detests politically.

Till recently, Sushil Kumar Modi was considered not only close to Nitish Kumar but was a vocal supporter of alliance with the JD-U. But he has changed his attitude in favour of the rising Narendra Modi.

BJP ministers in Bihar did not attend office the past two days.

Nitish Kumar Thursday described the situation in the alliance as "difficult".

He has come out publicly against Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial choice of the BJP, which heads the NDA.