‘Nitish Kumar to remain Bihar CM as long as NDA govt exists’: JDU leader Upendra Kushwaha

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New Delhi: Amid the speculations regarding Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar quitting Chief Ministerial post, party’s Parliamentary Board Chairman and former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday reiterated that as long as there is an alliance with BJP in the state, Nitish Kumar is its leader. 

Kushwaha said that the alliance of state’s ruling party and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is under the leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar. 

On being asked whether Nitish Kumar will continue as the Chief Minister of Bihar or was there any pressure from the BJP on him to leave the Chief Ministerial post, he said that there is no such type of pressure from the BJP.

Former Union Minister also said, “There is no pressure but some BJP people made statements in the past regarding this and so I said this. Otherwise, everything is fine in BJP and JDU alliance in Bihar.” 

“I also want to say that some BJP leaders make unnecessary statements. They should stop the rhetoric. I demand from the central leadership of BJP to rein those leaders who are making unnecessary statements on Bihar CM,” Kushwaha.

News agency ANI quoted a Senior BJP leader from Bihar that everything is fine between both the parties. “There is no dispute within JDU for the Chief Minister post in Bihar. Some people are deliberately trying to create conflict in the NDA alliance. Have you read or heard any statement of our party leader on the Chief Minister post in Bihar?,” he said.

“If any kind of changes will be made in Bihar, only party’s high command will speak on it,” senior Bihar BJP leader. 

“I want to also suggest JD(U) leaders not to create controversy without any dispute in alliance and I assert that our NDA alliance is strong in the State,” he added.

Meanwhile in December 2021, reports poured in stating that BJP and JDU ties have begun to weaken. The JD(U) and BJP, partners in the NDA government in Bihar, engaged in a two-front war of words. While in the Lok Sabha, the allies differed over the pace of rural road projects in the state, in Bihar, the two sparred over the demand for special category status.

Notably, the JD(U) and BJP have been allies for most of the last 20 years, save for a four-year period of estrangement from 2013 to 2017, as Nitish Kumar has retained his hold over the Chief Minister’s chair (also barring a short period in which Jitan Ram Manjhi led the state).

BJP had emerged as the larger of the two allies after the 2020 Assembly elections, with 74 seats to the JD(U)’s 43 (now up to 45). 

(With inputs from ANI)

first published:April 10, 2022, 7:18 p.m.

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