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Amid Rift With BJP, JD(U) Resolution Today to Demand Nitish Kumar be Made NDA Face in Bihar

The national executive gains added significance, coming days before Nitish Kumar’s July 12 meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah. Both allies have been at loggerheads over seat-sharing and leading the charge in Bihar.

Alok Kumar | News18dmalok

Updated:July 8, 2018, 7:08 AM IST
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Amid Rift With BJP, JD(U) Resolution Today to Demand Nitish Kumar be Made NDA Face in Bihar
File photo of JD(U) leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. (PTI)
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Patna: The Janata Dal (United) is likely to pass a political resolution demanding that party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar be made the face of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar for next year’s General Elections.

The resolution, which may worsen the fissures between the two allies, is likely to be moved at the JD(U)’s national executive meeting in New Delhi on Sunday, sources said.

The contentious seat sharing formula with the BJP will also resonate in the national executive as the JD(U) is likely to up the ante to get a larger share of seats, a senior leader close to Nitish Kumar told News18.

The national executive gains added significance, coming days before Nitish Kumar’s July 12 meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah. Both allies have been at loggerheads over seat-sharing and leading the charge in Bihar.

A senior BJP leader, however, told News18 that all differences would be sorted out in the meeting between Amit Shah and Nitish Kumar, citing that BJP leaders had “stopped” commenting on contentious issues.

The JD(U), on the other hand, is working on a strategy to clinch the best deal for itself and Nitish Kumar would try to bargain hard when he interacts with Amit Shah.

“Results of 2014 Lok Sabha elections alone can’t be the basis for seat-sharing as the JD(U) was not the part of any major alliance and fought it alone. Before that, the JD(U) used to contest 25 seats and the BJP 15. However, 2015 Assembly election results can be the other indicator. The JD(U) contested the polls with the RJD and got 71 seats, while BJP tally reduced to 53,” JD(U) general secretary Sanjay Jha told News18.

Jha is overseeing the preparations for the national executive meeting, which he claimed, was being organised in the party office for the first time. The JD(U) won only two seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as the NDA swept the state, winning 31 out of 40 seats.

Referring to the issue of who will lead the election campaign, a senior JD(U) leader close to Nitish reminded the BJP of what had transpired between the leadership of the two parties when the Bihar CM snapped ties with the Mahagathbandhan and re-entered the NDA.

“Nitish Kumar was assured that he will be the leader of NDA in the state. Either the BJP leadership has not communicated this clearly to the state unit or something else might have cropped up in their minds. It was the BJP state unit leaders who ignited the debate and claimed Narendra Modi will be the face of the NDA and the BJP will fight on all seats it won in 2014,” he said.

For the BJP, ensuring second term to Narendra Modi is of utmost priority, a senior party leader told News18. “We understand the consequences if Nitish Kumar goes the other side. There is no denying that there are three major political parties — BJP, RJD and JD(U) — in Bihar and the combination of any two can sweep the elections. So, we will have to listen Nitish Kumar carefully,’ the BJP leader said.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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