NEW DELHI: While opposition parties look to be regrouping, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is facing a challenge of keeping its flock in order as constituents demand better coordination and expect BJP to be more accommodative and inclusive.
After TDP’s exit and Shiv Sena’s continuing ambivalence over ties with BJP, JD(U) is now not feeling comfortable with communal tensions in Bihar during Ram Navami and “provocative” statements of some BJP leaders in the state.
Alliance partners like Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) leader and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha are also miffed. Kushwaha called on convicted RJD leader Lalu Prasad in hospital in Delhi. The BJP camp is uncomfortable as Kushwaha recently organised a demonstration against the JD(U)-BJP government in Patna.
Senior JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said there was no threat to the alliance in Bihar but agreed that better coordination was required. “There is a marked difference between NDA-1 and NDA-2. It is understandable as the leadership has changed but alliance leaders should hold regular coordination meetings and sort out differences,” he told TOI.
Tyagi said it was almost 10 months since the JD(U)-BJP government was formed in Bihar but not a single NDA meeting had taken place. “BJP is well represented in Bihar but JD(U) has no representation at the Centre. This is an issue that needs to be sorted out,” he said.
Tyagi said his party was unhappy with recent statements of Bihar BJP leaders but it was for the saffron leadership to “discipline” their leaders and contain “internal strife”. “Nitish Kumar never compromises on principles and he remains the same,” he said, in a hint that the Bihar CM could dig in his heels.
Another alliance partner and cabinet minister in UP, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, said differences with BJP cropped up due to lack of communication.
“We should sit across and sort out the differences,” Rajbhar told TOI. He had threatened not to vote for the BJP candidate in Rajya Sabha polls but was pacified by BJP president Amit Shah. Rajbhar reiterated that he would remain with the NDA but would continue to raise issues concerning the common man.
BJP leaders are keeping a close watch on initiatives to form a united opposition front. Soon after the defeat in Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha bypolls, the party took the initiative to bring back Kirori Lal Meena, who exerts influence over the Meena community in eastern Rajasthan.