New Delhi: Tensions seems to be brewing between alliance partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) or JDU after swearing-in ceremony after the alliance partner from Bihar chose to not joing the union government at the centre.
Speaking to media on Friday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said that the party decided not to show symbolic participation in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre. Senior leaders of the JDU are of the opinion that Kumar was keen for a greater share in the union government since JDU has 16 Members of Parliament (MPs) in Lok Sabha along with six MPs in Rajya Sabha.
“When I was told one seat will be given to JD(U), I had said we don't need it but I will discuss it with the party leaders. I asked everyone, all of them said it's not appropriate that we show only symbolic participation when we are together. We are together, not upset. I am seeing reports in newspapers that we had asked for three seats, this is false. We had not asked for any seat," Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar told media on Friday.
Members of the JDU point out that since BJP was able to form government in Bihar because of the support of Kumar, the party was expecting at least a couple of places in the union cabinet apart from ministers of state (MoS).
“The BJP leadership in Delhi is in touch with the Bihar chief minister and may be some solution would be found between the two alliance partners," said a senior JDU leader.
Senior leaders of the JDU also point out that since the assembly elections in Bihar is due next year, it is the responsibility of BJP and JDU to send a positive message to the people of the state and also to convey that there are no differences between the two alliance partners.
The absence of JDU from the swearing-in ceremony was visible as most of the alliance partners of BJP-NDA were present and their representatives were on the dais for the ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday evening. Although Kumar too was present for the ceremony, none of the representatives of JDU have joined the council of ministers till now.