Amid strained ties with BJP, Nitish Kumar to strategise at JD(U) meet
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal United (JDU) president Nitish Kumar will attend his party office-bearers' meet in Patna on Saturday before addressing its national executive meet on Sunday, amid a strain in his ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Kumar is likely to articulate his party's position on a host of issues ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls as there has been speculation about his next political move.
There has been speculation that he is keen to revive his alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, a suggestion rejected by his party leaders but which has gained ground due to the JD(U)'s differences with the BJP. Several leaders of the Bihar-based party have demanded its preeminent position in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) restored, a status it enjoyed in the alliance until 2013 when Kumar broke ties with the saffron party. With the BJP gaining in strength in the state following its sweep in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
It is unlikely to give the JD(U) a bigger status and political watchers believe that Nitish Kumar has been jockeying for fighting about 15 seats in 2019. The BJP had won 22 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and its allies, Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) had six and three respectively. The JD(U) had won only two seats. JD(U) leaders have argued that their party had performed much better than the BJP in 2015 assembly polls and its results should be considered in the allotment of seats for the Lok Sabha election.