Difficult to stay in ventilator-supported NDA: JD-U
Janata Dal-United on Monday gave first indications of parting ways with the National Democratic Alliance, saying it is "difficult" to remain in the alliance which is on "ventilator support" in the wake of resignation of L K Advani from top BJP posts and anointment of Narendra Modi as party's campaign committee chief for next Lok Sabha polls.
Terming Advani's resignation as a "serious issue" and "not good for NDA health," Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav said his party, an NDA ally, will meet to review the latest developments.
"I am deeply saddened by the resignation of Advaniji. Because the NDA was forged with the efforts of Atalji and Advaniji. He (Advani) is also the working president and Atalji is not keeping well," Yadav said in New Delhi.
"So his resignation in my opinion is a serious issue and we will convene our own party meeting to discuss the matter," said Yadav, who is also the convenor of the NDA.
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Image: Deeply saddened by Advani's resignation, says JD-U president and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav.
'Will spell out our stand after examining all aspects of the latest development'
In Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Janata Dal-United, which is opposed to Modi's projection as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, will discuss all aspects of the dramatic developments and will spell out its stand soon.
"We will come out with our stand on the issue after examining the entire situation and considering all the aspects in the party", Kumar told mediapersons in Patna.
He also denied reports in a section of media that BJP president Rajnath Singh had talked to him before the decision on Modi's anointment.
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Image: No discussion with Rajnath Singh over Modi's elevation, says Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
'Advani has been humiliated'
Asked about JD-U setting a deadline till November for BJP to declare its prime ministerial choice, he said, "We will choose the timing.".
Kumar had made it clear that the BJP prime ministerial candidate should be one who is acceptable to all, which was interpreted by analysts as JD-U's no to Modi.
JD-U is the second largest constituent of the BJP-led NDA. JD-U and BJP have been ruling Bihar successfully under Kumar since 2005. NDA had bagged 34 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 Parliamentary polls.
JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi said Advani has been "humiliated" and "NDA is now on ventilator support" and "it will be difficult for us" to continue to be in NDA.
Advani, one of the founding member of BJP, resigned from the party Parliamentary Board, Election Committee and National Executive, apparently opposing the elevation of his one-time protege Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as election campaign committee chief.
Objecting to some of the statements made at the BJP's Goa meet, Sharad Yadav leader said some of the remarks were beyond the realm of NDA agenda.
The stand of JD-U on the issue is crucial for BJP after the rift in the party became wide open with Advani quitting key posts in the organisation.
'Advani's resignation will make serious dent on NDA's future'
"It will be difficult for us when the tallest leader, the founder of Jan Sangh, BJP and NDA has said that many of the party leaders are furthering their personal agenda," said Tyagi.
Devesh Thakur, JD-U Bihar unit spokesperson, said the main architects of the NDA alliance were Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani, Sharad Yadav, George Fernandes and Kumar.
"Now, it they are out of the picture with Advani resigning...it is going to make a serious dent on the relationship and this alliance," he said.
Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar refused to react to BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy assertions immediately after the drubbing in Maharajganj bypoll that Modi was needed by JD-U as much as the BJP.
"I need not give a reaction to every leader's comment," he shot back.
On the insistence of Kumar, the BJP leadership had kept Modi away from Bihar in the last parliamentary elections as well the 2010 assembly polls.
During BJP National Executive Committee meeting in Patna in 2010 when a photograph of Modi with Kumar appeared in newspapers, an agitated Bihar chief minister returned Rs 5 crore donated by Gujarat for the Kosi flood victim and even cancelled a dinner for BJP leaders.
Image: NDA leaders Sharad Yadav, Shiv Sena's Manohar Joshi and L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj protesting against price-rice in front of the Parliament in this 2008 photograph.