Patna, July 8: The alliance of the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would continue in Bihar, the state Chief Minister and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar told senior parties leaders on Sunday. In a meeting, Nitish Kumar was also authorised to take political decisions on behalf of the JD(U) ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Bihar CM was in New Delhi to discuss upcoming elections including the Lok Sabha polls with national general secretaries, secretaries, state presidents and other party leaders. During the meeting, most of the leaders broadly were on the same page that the party can logically claim 17-18 seats.
“The best scenario would be BJP and JD(U) both contesting 17 seats each and leave other six seats for other allies, like the LJP and the RLSP," a senior JD(U) leader, who was present in the meeting, told News18. The leader also said that the party will not break alliance with the BJP as "they are the time tested alliance partner of 17 years".
“We are clear that the alliance with BJP will continue. The RJD leaders used to taunt him saying 'jao tilak laga diya', compared to that running the government with the BJP has been easy. The RJD always boasted about its big brother position since they had 80 seats compared to JD(U)’s 71," he was quoted as saying.
Nitish Kumar is set to meet BJP president Amit Shah in Patna on July 12 where the two heads will discuss the sharing-sharing issue. JD(U) and BJP contested 2014 Lok Sabha elections separately. While the JD(U) could win only 2 seats, the BJP bagged 22.
Difference emerged when the JD(U) insisted seat-sharing for 2019 should be on the performance in 2015 Bihar assembly elections. JD(U) won 71 seats, while BJP got 53 in 2015 Bihar Assembly elections. However, the BJP had claimed the party would contest all the 22 seats it had won in 2014 general elections.