‘No Discussions on Working With BJP Outside Bihar’: Nitish Kumar
The JD(U)‘s national executive favoured simultaneous polls, a proposal being backed strongly by the Modi government.
Amid reports of strain in ties between the BJP and its alliance partner JD(U) over the allotment of seats for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the latter's president Nitish Kumar said on Monday, 9 July, that the two parties are not working together on a national level, but only in Bihar.
We (JDU & BJP) are working together in Bihar, but when it comes to outside Bihar, there are no discussions like that. There has not been an alliance like that at the national level.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as quoted by ANI
Seeking to downplay the purported tensions in the relationship between the JD(U) and the BJP, Kumar said:
As far as our political relations with the BJP are concerned, it isn’t possible to get together with some other party at some other place, leaving them behind. When you run a political party, you need to keep in mind the sentiments of those attached to your party.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as quoted by ANI
The JD(U) on Sunday authorised Nitish Kumar to finalise the party's stand on political issues, including the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The party’s national executive, at its meeting attended by its top leaders including Kumar, also favoured simultaneous polls, a proposal being backed strongly by the Modi government.
It, however, called for evolving a consensus through talks with other parties, sources told PTI.
The executive also reiterated the party's opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill that allows Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan to be eligible for Indian citizenship after a stay of six years.
Religion cannot be a basis for citizenship, it said.
Other JD(U) leaders also sought to downplay reports of strain in ties between the two parties, asserting that the ruling alliance will fight the elections together and sweep it.
“It will be decided later as to which party will contest how many seats. The NDA will fight the elections together and sweep the state,” its general secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha told reporters.
Party leaders said the issue of number of seats in Bihar it will fight in the Lok Sabha polls did not come up for discussion at the meeting, reported PTI. Kumar has been authorised to finalise its stand, they said.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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