This has been a long drawn fight between Modi and Nitish over secularism. Nitish keeps on claiming to be holier than thou whenever secular credentials of Modi are under question and this time this harping by Nitish has irked BJP so much that it has now planned to exit the coalition with JD (U) in Bihar.
BJP has signalled plans to quit Nitish government once Karnataka polls are over. Such a strong move by BJP comes after Nitish openly and explicitly blamed Modi for 2002 Godhra riots. This might look like a genuine irking of BJP at the hands of Bihar CM especially when there is an almost consensus on Modi as the choice for prime ministerial candidate. But there is more to what meets the eye. The real reason for the split is JD (U)’s absolutely unacceptability to Modi as the PM candidate for NDA. JD (U)’s backing of Modi for the contest will lead to a huge electoral loss in Muslim vote base to the ‘secular’ party. This being said, the actual motivation for BJP and JD (U) to part ways lies in the importance of the 2014 election. BJP is trying to win an election here which will bring it into power especially if Modi is projected at the helm in situation of a victory. JD (U) which has a limited scope than BJP is trying to grab as many seats which can get it as many ministerial berths in return. Both the parties have a contradictory vote base but it is none the less an alliance of ideological discomfort but pragmatically soothing for the power fortunes of both. Right now as the script is looking like, both are aiming to woo their respective vote base. By parting ways, JD (U) can woo Muslim voters in the name of this temporary divorce, while Hindu vote base will certainly celebrate the choice BJP makes in favour of Modi by breaking this 17 years old alliance and would reward BJP suitably. This move thus looks like a mutual divorce where both know that once fruits of this separation have materialized, they can be together again, until it suits them of course.