With possible split from BJP, JD(U) hints at alliance with Congress

With key NDA ally JD(U) signalling that its alliance with the BJP has turned sour, indications are rife that the party is seriously considering an alliance with the ruling Congress, if they grant Bihar backward status.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, JD(U) spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan said the party's priority is to first take a decision on its alliance with the BJP and post that anything is possible.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. PTI

"In politics, all possibilities are open. Right now we are a part of the NDA and our first priority is to take a decision on this alliance," Ranjan said when asked if the JD(U) would be willing to form an alliance with the Congress if the UPA government granted Bihar backward state status.

The JD(U), which has been vocal in its opposition to projecting Modi as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, has been upset over his elevation within the BJP, to Chairman of the campaign committee.

In Patna, JD(U) leaders on Wednesday seemed to have decided to end the 17-year-old alliance with the BJP over the elevation of Modi. A formal announcement to this effect is reportedly expected soon.

However, toeing the official party line, BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP and JD(U) alliance would continue “in the interest of the people of the state and any break in ties will ruin the hopes of the electorate”.

“The alliance is continuing because people want it. The BJP, which formed the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), wants that the alliance in Bihar should be strong. It is in the interest of Bihar,” Hussain said.

“If we work together, we will continue to rule. Otherwise, it will ruin hopes of people of state,” Hussain said.

He also said that the BJP has only accepted the line taken by the JD(U) President, who on Wednesday said that the alliance was intact.

“We are endorsing what Sharad-ji said,” Hussain said.

Meanwhile, the Congress has hinted that it is more than willing to include the Bihar Chief Minister in a future alliance. "All secular parties are welcome within the UPA," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said on Wednesday.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla also welcomed reports of the JD(U)-BJP split. "They have made it clear that they will not make any compromises on secularism. We want more people to follow the path of secularism, so that peace prevails in society and India flourishes. A country where people are fighting among themselves can never progress," Shukla said.

With agency inputs

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