JD(U) rules out speculations over Patel-Yadav meeting

Amidst reports of Ahmad Patel meeting Sharad Yadav during the day triggering speculation of the Congress reaching out to the second largest NDA partner, JD(U) leaders today dismissed it as a mere courtesy meet.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, himself a senior JD(U) leader, did not reply when reporters sought his comments while he was leaving the Assembly.

Devesh Chandra Thakur, another senior JD(U) leader and a close confidante of the CM told reporters outside Assembly, "Patel is an MP, so is Sharad Yadavji and parliamentarians meet each other in the Parliament very often. So what's new in this?"

"They have met more than a dozen times...what's big in this?" Thakur, an MLC, wondered.
Senior JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, considered number three in the Bihar government after the CM and Deputy CM S K Modi, denied that anything was cooking between the Congress and the JD(U).

"Where is the growing closeness with Congress visible? The Prime Minister is from the Congress and the CM met him with demand for special category status," Chaudhary told reporters.

Ties between NDA partners JD(U) and BJP were strong in Bihar, he said adding in a lighter vein, if the media persistently asked this question there was a chance of a wedge been created.

Another senior minister Narendra Singh also dismissed any cracks in the relationship between NDA partners in Bihar or any talks with the Congress. Speculations about the Congress reaching out to Nitish Kumar has been triggered by the positive vibes when he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia earlier this week, demanding special category status for Bihar.

Kumar gave ammunition to speculation about strife between longstanding NDA allies, by yesterday saying that none knew about the future.

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