Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who joined the BJP-led NDA recently ditching Mahagathbandhan, on Wednesday said he switched allegiances earlier but now he will not change sides again.
Kumar arrived in the national capital to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in what was their first meeting after the Janata Dal (United) president dumped the opposition INDIA bloc and joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month. The CM also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda.
“We (BJP-JDU) have been together since 1995. Beech mein 2 baar idhar udhar zaroor ho gaye theyy. Lekin ab kabhi nahi. Phir wahin rahenge, ab idhar udhar nahi honge,” the CM said.
On seat-sharing, he said, “There is no logic behind discussing this. That will be done. They know everything from the beginning…”
#WATCH | Delhi | After meeting BJP chief JP Nadda, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says, “We (BJP-JDU) were together since 1995. Beech mein 2 baar idhar udhar zaroor ho gaye theyy. Lekin ab kabhi nahi. Phir wahin rahenge, ab idhar udhar nahi honge.”On seat-sharing, he says, “There is no… pic.twitter.com/rxgFvRpyhL
— ANI (@ANI) February 7, 2024
The meetings came five days ahead of Kumar’s government facing a trust vote in the Assembly on February 12. Kumar had taken the oath along with eight ministers, including three each from the BJP and the JD(U), and an expansion of the council of ministers is on the cards.
Both parties have to deal with a number of tricky political issues ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, including the distribution of parliamentary seats for contesting the election among them and their smaller allies. The BJP and the JD(U) contested 17 seats each in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while the then Lok Janshakti Party, now divided into two factions, contested on six. The NDA now also includes former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.
There is also a view that Kumar wants the Bihar Assembly dissolved so that its election could be held along with the Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May but the BJP, which has much more strength than the JD(U) in the House, might be cold to the idea, sources said. Asked about the seat-sharing issue, Kumar played it down, saying BJP leaders are aware of it.
Six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar are falling vacant, for which elections are scheduled to be held on February 27.
(With PTI inputs)