Nitish bears it with a grin, counts his MPs
Kumar, who is the national president of his party, also ruled out JD (U)’s future participation in the BJP-led union government in the future.Updated: May 31, 2019 23:43 IST
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that his party JD (U)’s core committee did not find merit in BJP’s proposal for a symbolic representation in the union cabinet and hence decided to stay out, but denied any rift in the alliance.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival from Delhi, Kumar said his party had formed an alliance with BJP in the state’s interest and that participation or not in the union cabinet did not perturb them. “We are with the NDA. Party workers are neither worried nor upset,” he said.
Maintaining that the allies should have been provided a proportional representation, as in the case of NDA government in the state, Kumar said it was BJP’s prerogative to take a decision on the issue as it had managed to get a majority on its own.
Kumar, who is the national president of his party, also ruled out JD (U)’s future participation in the BJP-led union government in the future.
The CM, however, cited the Bihar government example to underline his views on the issue. “When it came to forging alliances and government formation, the JD (U) ensured number of berths for each ally was clearly spelt out.We have ensured proportional participation every time,” he said. Kumar also underscored the fact that his party had this time wrested eight of the seats lost by BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Apparently, the party’s core committee has taken a strong view on being treated at par with allies like Shiromani Akali Dal and Lok Janshakti Party, which have two and six MPs respectively, and have been provided one cabinet berth each. “We had not given any proposal for joining the ministry. JD (U) has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha and six in Rajya Sabha,” Kumar said.
The JD (U)’s decision to stay out of the union cabinet is being viewed as the first indication of the growing discomfort between the two allies in a changed scenario in which the BJP has a majority of its own and may try to take a shot at Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code.
The move is indicative that the JD (U) is not bound to accept all decisions of the Centre and may work for preserving its independent position and stand on ‘contentious’ issues.