JD(U) accuses BJP of trying to engineer split, party denies

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New Delhi, Feb 8: Grappling with a crisis within, JD(U) today accused BJP of plotting a split in the party--a charge denied by the saffron party which said the entire crisis was triggered by former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "obsession" for power.

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi suggested that Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was working at the BJP's behest and said he had no right to attend the NITI Aayog meeting in the national capital as he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the majority of MLAs after JD(U) lawmakers elected Nitish Kumar as their new leader in Patna yesterday.

Nitish Kumar

Asked about Manjhi's scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here this evening, Tyagi said, "The fact is BJP President Amit Shah is working overtime to engineer a split in our party, like he is doing with TMC. He has failed... "

"If the need arises, we will parade 130 MLAs before the governor or even the President," he told PTI. A belligerent Manjhi has refused to step down from the chief minister's post after terming the party's meeting yesterday "unconstitutional".

He is said to be exploring possibility of getting the BJP's support to remain in the top post. BJP hit back at JD(U) over its allegations, saying the entire crisis was triggered by Nitish himself and his "obsession" for power.

"This crisis has arisen because of Nitish Kumar and his obsession for power. It's an internal row brewing within the JD(U). ...They are now putting blame on us as they are unable to handle their own crisis," party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

Taking potshots at the senior JD(U) leader, he said Kumar had walked out of the JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar as he had the ambition of becoming the Prime Minister.

"However he made Jitan Manjhi, a Mahadalit, the Chief Minister after JD(U)'s poor show in the (Lok Sabha) polls but now he wants to be the CM once again," Hussain said, adding BJP as Bihar's main opposition party was keeping a close watch on the developments in the state.


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