Home >Politics >News >After Bihar win, NDA looks to iron out concerns over govt formation

NEW DELHI : Several issues that have troubled the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Bihar assembly polls are still to be resolved, a day after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) crossed the majority mark.

The primary issue which has annoyed the JD(U) leadership is the status of Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the ruling alliance, both in Bihar and at the central level. The NDA also has to figure out if the ministerial berth in the Union cabinet given to Ram Vilas Paswan, who passed away in October, will be transferred to his son.

Upset with the JD(U) over various issues, LJP had fielded candidates against it and won one seat, while swearing allegiance to the BJP.

“The BJP has not clearly spoken on the status of LJP in NDA so far, and there is no doubt that LJP with its campaign against chief minister Nitish Kumar in the assembly polls has hurt the chances of JD(U) in at least 18-20 seats. The BJP should clarify the status of LJP, and which parties are members of NDA," a senior JD(U) leader said on condition of anonymity.

Responding to the election results on Wednesday, Nitish Kumar posted on Twitter: “The public reigns supreme. I am grateful to the public for giving NDA a majority. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the support."

While the BJP leadership has reiterated that Kumar would continue as chief minister and JD(U)’s fewer seats are of no consequence, the two partners would also have to find common ground on power sharing. BJP and JD(U) will also have to accommodate former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) which together have eight assembly seats and have helped NDA cross the halfway mark.

“It seems the swearing-in ceremony will take place after Diwali or else it could get further delayed and may happen after Chhath Puja. But first, Nitish Kumar has to break his silence because he has not spoken to the party workers of JD(U) after the elections and has only met a handful of leaders of both BJP and JD(U)," said the JD(U) leader.

Senior leaders of JD(U) said their party and LJP have never been in an alliance since the formation of NDA government in Bihar in 2005, and LJP was only an ally of BJP and not of JD(U).

“If we look at the history of LJP and JD(U), they have never been in an alliance. When JD(U) joined hands with BJP for government formation in Bihar in the 2005 assembly, LJP was in alliance with Congress. Similarly, LJP remained in alliance with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) during 2010 assembly polls. After JD(U) left NDA before 2015 state polls, LJP was in alliance with BJP. Even now, LJP contested against JD(U); so, BJP should clarify the status of LJP in NDA," said the JD(U) leader.

Reiterating that the mandate was for the alliance as a whole, Bihar’s deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said it was a decisive verdict in favour of NDA.

“In an alliance, not all parties win equal number of seats. Who won how many seats is irrelevant, people voted for NDA. BJP played a role in JD(U)’s victory and JD(U) played a role in BJP’s victory. JD(U), BJP, VIP and HAM worked together, then we registered this victory," Modi told news agency ANI on Wednesday.

On its part, partners of Mahagathbandhan including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are ensuring that there is coordination between all parties and keeping a close eye on developments within NDA. According to a senior Opposition leader, a meeting of all newly-elected MLAs of the alliance will take place on Thursday to decide their next course of action.

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