JD-U reduces NDA to band of 3

Bihar’s ruling JD(U) on Sunday finally dumped its long-time ally BJP and boldly walked out of the NDA in protest against Mr Narendra Modi’s increasing prominence in the BJP. It announced plans to run the state government under chief minister and JD(U) stalwart Nitish Kumar without the BJP.
The NDA now comprises just three major parties — the BJP, Shiv Sena and SAD.
Mr Kumar, who fears he will lose the crucial votes of Bihar’s 1.4 crore Muslims in the likely event of Mr Modi’s projection as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, met Bihar governor D.Y. Patil at Raj Bhavan to inform him of the regional party’s separation from ally BJP and the NDA. During this 30-minute meeting, which followed a hurriedly convened Cabinet meeting boycotted by all the 11 ministers of the BJP, Mr Kumar also recommended the removal of all the BJP ministers, including deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, from the Cabinet and the convening of a special session of the Assembly on June 19 to seek a vote of confidence.
“This separation is the JD(U)’s political resolution resulting from the irreconcilable contrasts between the current situation and our (JD-U) old stand and basic principles,” said Mr Kumar at a crowded news conference at his official residence., He was accompanied by JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav and several senior leaders and ministers. “It is not good for us to not read the writing on the wall,” he said, referring to Mr Modi’s elevation to BJP national election campaign chief, but without naming him, as always.
Mr Kumar dismissed the BJP’s refrain of not yet naming Mr Modi its PM candidate, saying: “It is not a technical matter, but a political matter. What matters is the perception of it all.” He blamed the BJP for the end of its participation in the seven-year-old state government and the end of their 17-year-old alliance.
“The Bihar people’s mandate was for Bihar, and our alliance was fine till matters were within Bihar and there was no outside influence,” said Mr Kumar, an obvious reference to the recent swell of support among Bihar’s BJP leaders for Mr Modi. Mr Kumar also said the separation decision was propelled by the BJP ministers’ continuing absence from official work for the past four days.
Mr Sharad Yadav, who announced his resignation as the NDA’s national convenor, was the first to announce the separation, saying: “Nitish Kumar tried his best to run the alliance and government, bringing several achievements to Bihar, but continuing in the NDA will neither help the alliance nor us.”
“We cannot compromise on our basic principles, values and our stand on core issues central to the ethos of our party. Its total disregard and the ominous recent developments therefore compel the JD(U) to forthwith terminate and sever its present alliance with the BJP. The people of the country expect no less,” said a statement released by the JD(U).
Mr Kumar’s JD(U), with 118 MLAs in Bihar’s 243-member Assembly, needs only four MLAs — there are six Independents — to get a majority. The BJP has 91 MLAs, while the main Opposition RJD has 22.

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