Senior BJP leaders mollify Bihar CM

Nitish likely to take a call on alliance on Saturday

Senior BJP leaders mollify Bihar CM

As the split between the BJP and the JD-U appears inevitable, BJP stalwarts L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi made last-ditch efforts to mollify Nitish Kumar.

The Bihar chief minister, who is attending the last leg of a “Seva Yatra” in Katihar, is likely to take a call on the alliance with the BJP on Saturday.

On Thursday, Kumar admitted that the three top BJP leaders had called him, but he gave them no assurance. “It’s true that Advaniji, Rajnathji and Joshiji talked to me over the phone.

There were a wide range of discussions over the stories emerging everyday. But I have not taken any decision on any issue. As and when the situation arises, we will keep you abreast with the matter,” Kumar told mediapersons.

With 118 MLAs in his kitty, Kumar needs the support of just four more legislators to run the government in the 243-member Assembly, in case he decides to snap ties with the BJP. The saffron party has 91 legislators.

As the rumour mills worked overtime, independent legislators Pawan Jaiswal and Binay Bihari met Kumar’s man Friday R C P Singh, lending credence to the theory that independent legislators will extend an unsolicited support to the JD-U. Singh was Kumar’s principal secretary before being made a Rajya Sabha member. Singh is said to be in touch with other independent MLAs as well.

The Congress, which has four legislators, may also bail out Kumar. “Let Nitish first break ties with the BJP. If they approach us for support, we will take a decision according to the situation,” Bihar Congress chief spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra told Deccan Herald on Thursday.

The third possibility is that Kumar may split the 21-member RJD as he split the LJP earlier. But this seems unlikely as Kumar needs the support of only four MLAs and five out of the six independents are reportedly more than willing to cross over the fence.

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