Bihar: BJP, JD(U) begin blame game

Even before voting for the Bihar Assembly polls gets over, the blame game has begun within the BJP-led NDA.
The BJP is miffed with its alliance partner, the JD(U) whose leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar opposed campaigning by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the state and is also averse to campaigning with senior saffron leaders, apprehensive that this might polarise minority votes. Sources said reports coming from the poll-bound state suggest that not many minority voters cast their vote for the JD(U) during the first phase of polling in which most of the constituencies were minority dominated.
The issue was discussed between the top brass of both parties. NDA’s is fighting the polls on development plank.
It could be mentioned that post Ayodhya title suit verdict, BJP did not send its senior most leader L.K. Advani to campaign in constituencies where polling took place in the first phase, apprehending that it might affect NDA’s electoral prospects. When the Ayodhya verdict was pronounced, JD(U) had asked BJP to ask its cadre not to raise the issue during poll campaigning. First phase of the six phased Bihar Assembly polls took place on October 21.
Sources disclosed Nitish Kumar, who was harping on development plank, was expecting more minority votes for his party this time. But inputs of the first phase polling have left both the alliance partners dejected, sources said.
Sources in the BJP said once the polls are over in the state, it will take up this issue with the JD(U) leadership.
On the joint campaigning issue, though both the alliance partners denied reports that Nitish Kumar was reluctant for addressing joint rallies with senior saffron leaders, senior leaders of both JD(U) and BJP have not yet shared dais in the poll bound state.
It could be mentioned here that ties between the two NDA allies had reached break point when Nitish Kumar had returned Narendra Modi government’s Kosi relief fund. The issue of Nitish Kumar’s unwillingness to allow Narendra Modi to campaign in Bihar had badly hit the ties, with a section of BJP’s state unit even favouring snapping of ties.

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