The rift between Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and BJP leadership has almost reached a flashpoint, as the deputy chiefminister Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader, on Sunday decided not to attend Nitish Kumar's Vishwas Yatra. The chief minister later called off his yatra.
The BJP high command is going to meet in Delhi on Monday to assess the situation with party hardliners saying that the party should not come under pressure at any cost.
Even an iconoclast like Shatrughan Sinha, the BJP MP from Patna Saheb has said that the party should not come under Nitish Kumar's pressure.
The rift in the ruling NDA worsened after Nitish Kumar returned Rs 5 crore flood relief money to the Gujarat government on Saturday.
"I don't want to accompany Kumar for a meeting (in connection with Viswas Yatra at Paliganj in Patna district) following the development arising out of an arbitrary attitude of the Chief Minister to return the flood relief money to government of Gujarat," a fuming Modi told reporters in Patna.
"We have taken the development seriously and we don't want to carry forward politics over the funds meant for the welfare of the flood-hit victims in Kosi belt in 2008," he said.
BJP insiders said Modi had also apprised the party leaders in New Delhi about alleged high handedness and the arbitrary manner Kumar handled the situation without taking the BJP top brass in the state into confidence.
The official stand of the party was that Kumar must reconsider his decision returning the money to Gujarat as it was not the relief assistance from an individual "but from the hard-earned money of people of that state."
Kumar had yesterday sought to put an end to the controversy saying the decision to return the money was taken on last Saturday "and there is nothing new this Saturday". PTI