Rift widens between JDU, BJP: Sharad Yadav calls for crucial party meet today

Patna, June 16 (ANI): As the news of a possible rift between the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looming large, JDU chief Sharad Yadav has called for party meeting on Sunday afternoon to take a final decision on the issue.

Sensing that a break-up is almost final, the state BJP leaders too have toughened their stand on JD(U).

The 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.

NDA convenor Nand Kishore Yadav and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi earlier on Saturday refused to meet Nitish Kumar.

"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," Yadav said.

Yadav's remarks came against the backdrop of a media report that quoted Nitish Kumar as saying that BJP should publicly declare that Modi will not be its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 polls.

Kumar made it clear that there is a strain in the ties between the JD-U 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)

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