With the rift between the two NDA allies widening, BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today met JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, who said efforts are being made to rectify the situation that has taken a “bad shape”.
Mr. Yadav also said that talks are on with the “friends” in BJP.
“NDA exists right now and we are taking efforts that how the situation that has taken a bad shape can be rectified,” Mr. Yadav, who is the convener of NDA, told reporters after the meeting.
He was responding to a volley of questions on the continuance of the alliance.
The meeting of Mr. Naqvi and Mr. Gadkari at Mr. Yadav’s residence took place a day after BJP patriarch L K Advani had called Mr. Yadav as well as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, asking them to keep the alliance intact.
Asked whether Mr. Advani’s position has weakened in the BJP, Mr. Yadav said with a smile, “His position has not weakened for us. We have the same respect for him, which was there before.”
JD(U) has time and again made it known that it is comfortable with Mr. Advani while making its displeasure towards Narendra Modi evident.
Soon after Mr. Advani had resigned from key BJP posts after the elevation of Mr. Modi as BJP’s campaign committee chief, JDU general secretary K C Tyagi had said, “If he (L K Advani) is not at the helm of affairs, it will be very difficult for us to continue in the alliance… NDA’s prime ministerial candidate should be secular, have a clean and progressive image. We will not compromise on the issue of secularism.”
Mr. Tyagi had met Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, who also spoke to Mr. Nitish Kumar over phone fuelling the possibility of formation of a Federal Front.
Asked about this possibility, Mr. Yadav said, “He (Tyagi) has not talked of Federal Front. Mamataji has said that. Mamataji may be willing for it.”
He, however, said that Mr. Tyagi had talked to him before meeting Ms. Banerjee.
Replying to questions on whether there could be a reconsideration of JDU’s reported plans to severe ties with the BJP, Mr. Yadav said, “Talks are on between BJP and JD(U). We are also talking to our important workers. A meeting of the party will be held, where we will take a decision.
Mr. Yadav, however, refused to give a specific answer on whether his party’s alliance with BJP will continue or not, saying he has nothing more to add than what he had earlier stated on the issue.
“I had earlier also said that during this period, a number of things had happened and a meeting of our party will take place to take a view on that.
“We will take all these decisions in our meeting. Talks are happening with the friends and colleagues in BJP. This is not such a thing. It concerns the issue of alliance. Talks are on,” the JD(U) President said.
To questions on whether the decision on the alliance will be taken very soon, Mr. Yadav merely said, “This decision will happen in its own manner.”
The JD (U) President did not specify when the meeting of the JDU will be held and whether it will be held in New Delhi or Patna.
“A decision on this (about the meeting) will be taken by today evening,” he said.
Mr. Yadav refused to comment on questions on whether JD(U) will stick to the alliance if Mr. Modi is not the PM candidate.
Asked specifically whether Mr. Advani was acceptable to the JD(U) as PM candidate, he merely said, “This thing is not for me alone to decide.”