JD(U) breaks alliance with BJP in Bihar

In a major setback to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of next year's Lok Sabha election, the Janata Dal (United) broke its ties with BJP in Bihar, bringing to end a 17-year-old alliance that had held firm through thick and thin in national politics. Heading the eight-year-old coalition in the state, JD (U), which does not need BJP support to run the government, removed 11 saffron ministers from the state Cabinet and decided to seek a vote of confidence on June 19 in view of the "new situation." Sunday's development is a major jolt to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which is now left with only three constituents -- BJP, Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). JD (U) President Sharad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the break up of the coalition at a press conference, exactly a week after Modi was made the BJP's campaign committee chairman, considered just a step short of being made the prime ministerial candidate. Yadav also quit as Convenor of the NDA. "We cannot compromise with our basic principles. We are not worried about the consequences. As long as the alliance was Bihar-centric, there was no problem. But we had no alternative now. We are not responsible. We were forced to take this decision.