Congress urges JD(U) to avoid BJP to save face in Bihar
With the Janata Dal (United) firm in its opposition to a bill against triple talaq, the Congress on Friday said it was high time that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party walked out of the BJP-led NDA otherwise its existence will be wiped out from Bihar. The Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh said the JD(U) had sharp ideological differences with the BJP on important issues like construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and banning of triple talaq.
The JD(U) should realise that its standing among the people of Bihar would be imperilled if it remains in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In such an eventuality, its existence will be wiped out from the state, Singh said here. The JD(U) had made its stand on the triple talaq issue clear even when an ordinance on the same was approved by the union cabinet. The leader of the JD(U) in Rajya Sabha and the party's general secretary Ram Chandra Prasad Singh had favoured arriving at a consensus with other parties on the issue.
He had also warned that if a bill is brought on this issue in Parliament, the JD(U) will voice its opinion more vocally. After the bill was sent to Rajya Sabha, the party's state president and member of the Upper House Vashishtha Narayan Singh made it clear that JD(U) will not support the bill. The JD(U) has six members in Rajya Sabha, including the Deputy Chairman Harivansh. Lack of support from the party will further reduce the NDA's support base on this issue in the Upper House, where it is already short of the majority.
Ending more than a decade of political alignment, the JD(U) had snapped ties with the BJP in 2013 but returned to the NDA in 2017 after a short-lived collaboration with the Congress-RJD combine to form the Grand Alliance. The JD(U) enjoys considerable support from minority Muslims and Nitish Kumar had last month obliquely disapproved the idea of an ordinance on Ram Temple construction. He had also reiterated the party's long-standing position that the Ayodhya issue should be resolved either through a court judgement or mutual agreement among different groups.
(With inputs from agencies.)