JDU-BJP Alliance on Choppy Waters? Nitish Calls Party Meet on Tuesday After Giving PM-Led Event a Miss

The JD(U) has called a parliamentary meeting of all its MPs, MLAs and MLCs on Tuesday amid a buzz of a conflict with its partner, the BJP. Informing about the meeting, senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi, however, told reporters that there’s not much to read into it. “There will be a party parliamentary meeting on Tuesday in which all MPs, MLAs and MLCs will participate. This is a regular meeting. Please don’t read too much,” Tyagi said.

The development comes a day after former Union Minister RCP Singh announced his resignation from JD(U) hours after some reports surfaced that the party had sought an explanation from him over allegations of corruption.

On Singh’s resignation, Tyagi said the matter would be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. “The issue will be discussed and CM Nitish Kumar will decide action against him and the party will support his decision.”

The speculation of a fresh conflict between the two allies emerged after the JD(U) on Sunday said it wouldn’t join the Union Council of Ministers again. JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan said that the party wasn’t willing to have any representative in the Union Council of ministers. “We had decided in 2019, after the Lok Sabha polls, not to join the government at the Centre. We stick to that stand even now,” he said at a press meet in Patna.

RCP Singh was the only JD(U) face at the Centre last year. But Singh had to give up his Union cabinet berth after the JD(U) denied him another term in the Rajya Sabha, elections to which were held in June.

Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar on Sunday skipped a NITI Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There has been no official word on the reason behind Kumar’s absence, but sources close to him told PTI that he skipped the meeting citing post-Covid debility. The septuagenarian had tested positive on July 25.

On RCP Singh’s exit, Lalan told reporters that he might have quit yesterday, but for long his body was in the party while his soul was elsewhere. The JD(U) national president advised RCP Singh, who headed the JD(U) a year-and-a-half ago, to “apply himself to wherever his heart, mind and soul lie, without engaging in a diatribe against Nitish Kumar”.

Lalan also dismissed rumours of any conflict with the BJP, asserting that the alliance ties were not under stress and also cited as proof the JD(U)’s support for NDA candidates in the recent elections for President and Vice President.

(With PTI inputs)

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