Patna: A day after JD-U snapped ties with NDA, a combative Nitish Kumar rejected BJP's charge of betrayal and squarely blamed it for the break-up of the 17-year-old alliance, saying his party was left with "no other way" in the "new era" within BJP.
As the war of words intensified between JD-U and the BJP over the elevation of Narendra Modi as the saffron party's poll campaign chief, Nitish Kumar also accused BJP of "betraying" and "cornering" its elders in an oblique reference to the sidelining of L K Advani.
Advani was miffed over Modi being anointed the party's campaign commitee chief, an event that triggered the split within the NDA with the JD-U seeing this as the first step before the Gujarat Chief Minister is named as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Nitish maintained that the decision of his party to part ways from the BJP was "not taken in a haste" and it happened after "due deliberations" and at "appropriate time".
The JD-U leader said, "further waiting over it would have been cheating oneself" as the central leaders of BJP were not in a position to give any assurance and were only asking us to put on hold a decision on the split.
"Our parting ways from the NDA is BJP's failure. You created a situation in which the old allies walked away. An alliance does not run under compulsion.
"If you do not leave any way out before the ally...If any party wants to form a government (at Centre), the responsibility is of that party to get support of other parties if it is not in a position to get the numbers for it on its own. And here an old ally was forced to leave," Nitish said.