Putting an end to all speculations, the Janata Dal United has decided that it will not part ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and will remain a constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The decision was taken at the national executive meeting of party, chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in New Delhi on Sunday.
Several issues such as 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2020 Bihar Assembly elections were discussed during the JDU national executive, said reports. A report in Prabhat Khabar said that ahead of the national executive, Nitish Kumar had chaired a meeting of senior party leaders on Saturday evening.
The report further said that the JDU has decided to contest on 17 seats during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the rest of the seats going to NDA constituents including the BJP.
This comes amid repeated attacks on Nitish Kumar by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav over reports of differences between the JDU and the BJP.
On several occasions, the Yadav scion has said that the doors of Mahagathbandhan, comprising the RJD and the Congress, are closed for Nitish. Accusing the Chief Minister of ditching the Mahagathbandhan and people of Bihar by joining hands with the BJP, Tejashwi has said that Nitish Kumar “cannot be trusted”.
Notably, Nitish’s JDU had fought the previous Assembly elections in Bihar in alliance with the RJD and the Congress as part of the Mahagathbandhan. However, the alliance could not remain intact for long as the JDU decided to break away and join the BJP-led NDA.
Speculations were also rife in the recent past of the JDU ending ties with the BJP as the chief minister and his party repeatedly reiterated the demand of special status for Bihar. During the recently held Niti Aayog meeting in the national capital, Nitish had also backed Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s demand for special category status for his state, over which the latter had even walked out of the NDA. Naidu had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of cheating the people of Andhra Pradesh.