Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a crucial meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders on Wednesday, marking their first encounter since Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) party rejoined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month. Kumar reiterated his commitment to the alliance, emphasizing that he will not leave it again.
During his discussions with Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP president J P Nadda, Kumar is believed to have addressed various governance and political matters concerning Bihar.
In a brief statement to reporters afterwards, Kumar highlighted his longstanding association with the BJP since 1995, expressing firmness in his decision to remain in the NDA. He stated, “Never now. We will remain here (in the NDA).”
These meetings occurred just five days before Kumar’s government is scheduled to undergo a trust vote in the Assembly on February 12.
Following Kumar’s recent oath-taking ceremony, which included ministers from both the BJP and JD(U), there’s anticipation of further expansion in the council of ministers.
Both parties face challenges, including the distribution of parliamentary seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in which they will have to coordinate not only with each other but also with their smaller allies like Jitan Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha.
There’s speculation that Kumar may prefer dissolution of the Bihar Assembly to align its election with the Lok Sabha polls anticipated in April-May. However, the BJP, with a stronger presence in the House, may have reservations about this idea.
When questioned about seat-sharing, Kumar downplayed the issue, stating that BJP leaders are well-informed about it.
Additionally, Bihar is preparing for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on February 27, with six seats set to become vacant.