No anti-incumbency in Bihar, says BJP chief JP Nadda
On the first day of polling in the three-phase elections for the state assembly (results will be out on November 10), Nadda expressed confidence that people would repose faith in Nitish Kumar, whom he described as “Sushasan (good governance) Babu”.Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 07:18 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda on Wednesday insisted that there is no anti-incumbency in Bihar, stressed that Nitish Kumar would be the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) chief minister “irrespective of the numbers”, said it was unacceptable for the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) to claim to have the support of the Prime Minister on one hand while criticising the chief minister on the other, and dismissed Tejashwi Yadav as a leader with “no understanding of ground reality” despite his rallies drawing large crowds.
In an interview to HT on the first day of polling in the three-phase elections for the state assembly (results will be out on November 10), Nadda expressed confidence that people would repose faith in Nitish Kumar, whom he described as “Sushasan (good governance) Babu”.
“The comparison about Nitish Kumar’s current popularity should be made between the surveys in 2010 and 2020, because in 2015 he was part of the Mahagathbandhan with Lalu Prasad. The popularity that chief minister Nitish Kumar enjoyed in 2010 is intact… He is also the only leader people have expectations from,” Nadda said.
Speculation has been rife that the BJP may want to prop up its own chief minister in the event of it garnering much higher numbers that the JD(U), but Nadda said: “We are also conscious about our image. Our cadre understands all these things. Nitish will remain our leader, and we will form the government under his leadership, come what may… irrespective of the numbers.”
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When asked if the party would cut ties with the LJP at the Centre over its rebellion in Bihar – a move that would also signal its support to the JD(U) -- the BJP president was non-committal, saying the party “would discuss it when it comes up”.
Nadda said that the party’s philosophy was to be accommodative of its allies, and was not one to sever links with them, even as some of its oldest partners – the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, and in a limited way, the LJP in Bihar – have moved away in recent months.
“The NDA has never let anybody go, the BJP has never let anybody go,” he said.