Party working on compromise formula to make him keep Bihar post

The Bharatiya Janata Party leadership was on Saturday working on a “compromise formula” to persuade C.P. Thakur to withdraw his resignation as Bihar unit chief.

Mr. Thakur was summoned here. Later, he left for Nagpur to meet BJP president Nitin Gadkari. Before leaving for that city, he told some reporters that he had submitted his resignation to Mr. Gadkari not because his son Vivek had been denied party ticket for the Assembly elections but because the BJP had virtually succumbed to what he called the high-handedness of its ally, the Janata Dal (United).

The last straw

Mr. Thakur said he had not been consulted on seat-sharing and ticket distribution. The last straw was the party conceding to the JD(U) Digha, a BJP stronghold. At the same time, he said, he was a loyal party worker and wished the National Democratic Alliance success in the elections. Party sources said Mr. Thakur had gone to Nagpur with a list of six or seven names, and he could insist on changing some of the candidates already announced. It was also being said the high command offered to make Vivek a member of the Legislative Council.

Whichever way the crisis ends, the BJP fears that this major problem just ahead of the start of the elections — phase I is scheduled for October 21 — would have an adverse impact on its prospects. It could well have wiped out whatever gains the BJP hoped would accrue to it from the Ayodhya verdict.

Bhumihars upset

With earlier reports speaking of the upper castes moving slowly towards the Congress, Mr. Thakur's annoyance with his own party is expected to speed up the drift, with anger rising among the influential Bhumihars, the caste to which he belongs. This apart, the message has gone out that the BJP is a divided house, and a party that has succumbed to JD(U) pressures.