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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

JD(U) rejects RJD proposal for Nitish Kumar to lead opposition parties at Centre

Tiwary made the suggestion last week saying the opposition was in disarray following the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s return to power with a full majority in May.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2019 08:32 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
The JD (U) won 16 of Bihar’s 40 seats in April-May national polls in alliance with the BJP while the RJD could not win any seat.
The JD (U) won 16 of Bihar’s 40 seats in April-May national polls in alliance with the BJP while the RJD could not win any seat.(Santosh Kumar/ HT Photo)
         

Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) or JD (U) on Thursday rejected Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Shivanand Tiwary’s suggestion asking Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to lead opposition parties nationally in absence of an acceptable leader.

Tiwary made the suggestion last week saying the opposition was in disarray following the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s return to power with a full majority in May.

The JD(U) won 16 of Bihar’s 40 seats in April-May national polls in alliance with the BJP while the RJD could not win any seat. RJD’s ally Congress could manage just 52 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

“Thank you for the offer and accepting Nitish’s capability as a leader. But let me make it clear to all the GA [Grand Alliance] leaders that JD (U) is very much a part of the [BJP-led] NDA [National Democratic Alliance]. The... [NDA] is going to contest the 2020 assembly polls under his leadership in Bihar,” said JD (U)’s principal general secretary K C Tyagi.

Tyagi said the main reason of corruption, which forced the JD (U) to quit the RJD-led GA in 2017 remained. “Nitish Kumar’s USP has been that he has not compromised on three Cs [crime, corruption, and communalism]. Despite being with the NDA, he maintains the same posture and has differed with its alliance partner [BJP] on several issues...”

Tiwary, who is the RJD’s national vice president, maintained the JD (U) was committing a blunder by continuing to be a part of the NDA while asking Kumar to return to national politics to unite opposition parties as he has maintained his secular image.

“There is a leadership vacuum in the opposition ranks. I have watched Nitish in politics for nearly 35 years. I can vouch that he has political guts and capability to become the Prime Minister. He should quit the NDA and become the opposition face at the national level,” Tiwari said.

Former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, too, advised Kumar (WHEN) to quit the NDA and “join an alternative platform of like-minded leaders”.

JD (U) leaders said it was not the right time for the party to leave the NDA given it performance in the national polls in alliance with the BJP, which makes it a natural ally for the 2020 assembly elections.

The JD (U) contested the 2015 assembly elections in alliance with the RJD and the Congress. It led the GA government in the state until 2017 when it returned to the NDA fold.

The JD (U) plans to contest assembly elections in Jharkhand, Delhi, and Haryana on its own even as it remains a part of the NDA. It has differed with the BJP and opposed the law that criminalizes the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims and abrogation of Constitution’s Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status.

First Published: Aug 23, 2019 00:29 IST

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