Nitish tries to pacify angry BJP

Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, who praised finance minister P. Chidambaram for his “remarkable” Budget on Thursday, on Saturday found himself facing the anger of the saffron forces.

With the BJP flexing its muscles, Mr Kumar is now trying to pacify the saffron forces for the time being. In Patna, he attacked the Congress on rising prices. “Congress party ka doosra naam mehengai party hai ... Jab tak ye log satta mein rahenge mehengai badhti rahegi (The Congress is synonymous with inflation. Till Congress is in power, prices will continue to rise).”
Mr Kumar is aware that the BJP, with a nearly 18 per cent vote share in its kitty, “cannot be ignored at this juncture, particularly at a time when the JD(U)’s image in Bihar is at its lowest”, said a BJP functionary. The JD(U)’s own vote share is around 24 per cent. “Therefore without BJP, JD(U) cannot return to power and this message has been delivered to Nitish and his men,” the functionary said.
Of the 243 Bihar Assembly berths JD(U) has 118 seats and the BJP 91. The Bihar CM, who has been trying to get close to the UPA following Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s rise in the saffron camp, has been “cautioned that any move to split with the BJP might only see the return of the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD in the state”. the functionary revealed. A section of BJP leaders are in favour of snapping ties with the JD(U) in Bihar before the Lok Sabha polls.
This section feel that despite the BJP’s “outstanding performance”, it has been forced to play second fiddle by its alliance partner.
These leaders are also confident that the BJP can form a government on its own in Bihar where its strike rate was better than the JD(U)’s in the last Assembly polls as compared to the 2005 polls.
While Mfr Kumar and other JD(U) leaders had praised Mr Chidambaram, the BJP flayed the Budget on Saturday. The BJP, in its economic resolution adopted at its ongoing national council, said that “with its anti-people policies, the Congress has inflicted heavy losses on farmers and poorer sections of society”.
Bihar deputy CM and senior BJP leader in the state Sushil Kumar Modi, known as “Nitish’s man in the BJP”, also slammed the Union budget for “cleverly putting the figures” when the country’s fiscal deficit is growing and growth rate decreasing.

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