BJP on Thursday mounted hectic efforts to save its alliance with JD(U) which still appeared keen on breaking the coalition and move towards a Third Front of regional parties to fight the Lok Sabha polls.
The Third Front idea got a new supporter in Samajwadi Party, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav welcoming formation of a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance.
Top BJP leaders including L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and M M Joshi spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav in a bid to convince them not to take any precipitate action.
Former President Nitin Gadkari and senior leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi met Yadav here at the behest of Rajnath Singh.
They urged JD(U) leaders not to go to the extent of breaking the alliance which had swept the Assembly polls in Bihar in 2010 and put up a good show in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
"The alliance will continue. We are trying to ensure that it continues. We do not want to part ways," BJP chief said.
While echoing similar views, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, however, asserted that elevation of Modi is "entirely the business" of BJP.
However, JD(U) gave enough indications that it was keen on parting ways in the wake of Narendra Modi being made the Election Campaign Chief of BJP.
Kumar kept BJP on tenterhooks over the continuance in NDA, saying his party is "concerned" about the "recent developments" in BJP and JD(U) would take a call on them after discussing the matter within the party.
At the same time, he said it would be "good" if regional parties like JD(U), Trinamool Congress and BJD form a common front.
Kumar, who had telephonic talks with his West Bengal andOdisha counterparts Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik yesterday, said a 'Federal Front', the idea mooted by Trinamool leader, could take shape. Patnaik has already said there is a scope for a grouping without Congress and BJP.
"We have common cause...we are talking...though it is early to talk about formation of a front but it could take shape in future," Kumar said in Patna.
"Mamata Banerjee's view is that Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand have some common problems and we should think about them together. I have also said that these problems which are common," he said.
"If all of us together understand these problems and form a common front it would be good.... This is at an initial stage," he added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav also echoed the need for a Third Front.
Akhilesh said both the BJP as well as the Congress have failed to deliver at the Centre. "There are many issues on which the Congress and the BJP have been unsuccessful. The time has come for the nation to have a Third Front government," he said.
Naqvi said BJP does not want the alliance to break as its principle is to follow "coalition dharma".
"We want JD(U) to remain with us for the benefit of Bihar as well as the country. JD(U) should not do anything that would dent the fight against corruption of Congress-led UPA government," he said.