Trouble between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its key alliance partner in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), over government formation at the centre has now spilled over to the state on Sunday.
The BJP had offered one cabinet berth at the centre to its ally, but JD(U) leaders were not keen to take anything less than two cabinet berths and one minister of state, according to people aware of developments. Now, the party from Bihar has decided not to join the BJP-led Union cabinet.
“The proposal that was given was unacceptable to the JD(U), therefore we have decided that in future also the JD(U) will never be a part of the BJP-led Union cabinet. This is our final decision," said the party’s general secretary K.C. Tyagi.
JD(U) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday inducted eight more ministers into his cabinet but did not bring in any BJP leader. This is likely to add to the tension between the two parties.
The fault lines in the alliance comes in the wake of the JD(U) leaving the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to contest the assembly polls in 2015.
The developments also comes against the backdrop of the assembly elections in Bihar likely to take place next year in which the BJP, which had lost the elections in 2015, is keen to return to power in the state.
Officially both the parties have maintained that there is no trouble in the alliance.
“There were vacancies from the JD(U) quota in the cabinet, so JD(U) leaders were inducted. There is no issue with the BJP. Everything is fine," Kumar said.
“Nitish Kumar has offered BJP to fill the vacant ministerial seat. The BJP decided to fill it in future," deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted on Sunday.
Another ally, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) was also left out of the ministry expansion in the state. The LJP is a part of the Union council of ministers sworn in on Thursday.