NEW DELHI :
Janata Dal (United's) expectations of being a part of the new government came a cropper, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reportedly offering it a lone seat.
This made the JD (U) supremo and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar opt out of the newly formed Narendra Modi government. Kumar had met BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday. On 25 May, Nitish Kumar had also attended a meeting of the NDA partners.
"Things didn't work out as expected. Lets see what happens in the future," said a person aware of the development requesting anonymity.
Kumar attended the swearing in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday evening wherein he was seated in the front row. Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi was administered the oath of office and secrecy with his council of ministers on 30 May.
"We are not joining the government. This is our decision," news wire agency PTI reported quoting JD(U) national general secretary and national spokesperson Pavan K. Varma.
Mint reported on 27 May about JD(U)'s plans to recommend its Rajya Sabha member of Parliament (MP) R.C.P. Singh and newly elected Lok Sabha MP from Munger Rajiv Ranjan Singh for Cabinet berths in the new Narendra Modi government, if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally was invited to be a part of the government.
The JD(U)’s move comes against the backdrop of the party’s strong performance in the elections to the 17th Lok Sabha, in which it won 16 of the 17 seats it had contested from Bihar. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won all 17 seats and six seats, respectively, which they contested, giving the NDA 39 out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
In the 2015 Bihar assembly polls, BJP fought against a Congress-RJD-JD(U) combine and fared badly. In 2017, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar switched side to the BJP-led NDA, ousting the Congress-RJD combine. In the 243-seat Bihar assembly, the RJD is the largest party with 79 seats, followed by the JD(U) (73 seats), the BJP (55 seats) and the Congress (27 seats).