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BJP-JD-U rift: Sushil Modi meets Advani

June 22, 2010 16:45 IST

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Modi on Tuesday met senior BJP leader L K Advani to discuss the future of the troubled alliance with key ally Janata Dal-United in the state.

Modi, who reached New Delhi on Tuesday morning to attend a meeting of Bihar BJP Core Group with party president Nitin Gadkari, is understood to have apprised Advani about the latest developments in the relationship between the two long-term allies.

Modi was accompanied by party chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, who also hails from Bihar.

Party sources said Gadkari's meeting with the Bihar Core Group in the evening would be crucial as he will take a decision on the future of ties with JD-U after listening to the views and advice of the state leaders.

Advani has already made it clear that a final decision on the matter would be taken by Gadkari. However, he is keeping a close watch on the situation and has talked to his party leaders on the issue.

Meanwhile, two senior JD-U leaders, on condition of anonymity, on Tuesday said that they are averse to the idea of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or BJP leader Varun Gandhi taking part in the campaigning for upcoming assembly elections in Bihar.

Sources in the JD-U said that any compromise over allowing Modi and Varun in Bihar during elections is "unlikely" and the party has no qualms in going it alone for the assembly elections if BJP remains adamant on sending Modi and Gandhi to Bihar.

Asked whether the party has placed any such demand to the BJP, a top party leader said, "They have not gone there even in earlier elections."

BJP sources, however, said that they had not received any such demand from JD-U.

"We have not received any such demand. But even if JD-U makes any such request we are not going to accept it. After all, accepting this demand would also adversely impact the reputation of Modi in the party and with the public at large," a senior BJP leader said.

Relations between the JD-U and BJP soured during the June 12-13 BJP national executive in Patna when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar objected to advertisements praising Narendra Modi for giving flood relief to Bihar in 2008 and showing the two leaders clasping hands.

On Monday, Gadkari and M Venkaiah Naidu had a meeting with Advani on the Bihar issue. Earlier in the day, BJP Bihar unit chief C P Thakur and former Union minister from the state Shahnawaz Hussain had called on him.

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