JD(U) to go solo in three states, will fight Bihar polls as NDA ally
Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) on Sunday announced it would contest the forthcoming assembly elections in Jharkhand, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Haryana on its own.
The announcement was made at the party’s national executive meet even as the JD (U) underlined it would contest elections in Bihar due next year as part of the National Democratic Alliance, which includes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
It came a week after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar inducted eight JD (U) lawmakers in the state government. The induction followed JD (U)’s decision against joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government after it was offered just one berth in his council of ministers.
The Bihar cabinet expansion led to speculation about a possible rift between the JD(U) and the BJP even as both parties appeared to play down the issue. Kumar had said the BJP will induct a minister from its quota later.
The JD (U)’s announcement on Sunday came after a four-hour meet even as BJP seeks to retain power in Jharkhand and Haryana and to wrest Delhi and make inroads into Jammu and Kashmir. The four states are expected to go to polls over the next year.
The JD (U) won 16 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats it contested in Bihar in alliance with the BJP and LJP.
Kumar has insisted that everything within the NDA in Bihar was good, but a section of the party leaders believe the JD(U) announcement about strengthening its organisation in other states and fight elections on its own hinted once again a growing divide between the two parties.
JD (U) spokesman, K C Tyagi, rubbished speculation about dissent within NDA. He added Kumar declined the BJP’s offer to join the Narendra Modi government. “JD (U) will continue to extend its outside support to the government and remain with it on all policy issues to be taken up in the Parliament,” said Tyagi