Nitish Kumar rubbishes reports of JD(U) joining Union Cabinet
The JD (U) had ruled out participation in the Modi@2 cabinet after it was offered one Cabinet berth, as against at least two the party was reportedly expecting.Updated: Nov 01, 2019 14:33 IST
Barely 24 hours after the JD(U) hinted it was ready to join the union cabinet if the party was given proportional representation in accordance with the number of MPs it has, its national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar rejected the idea and called it faltu (nonsense).
“Aisi koi baat nahin hui hai. Sab faltu baat hai (no such talks have taken place. This is all nonsense),” Kumar said when asked by reporters for his comment on the matter after a function held here to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Thursday.
On Wednesday, JD (U)’s principal general secretary and chief spokesperson K C Tyagi had said after the party’s national executive council meeting in New Delhi, “We will consider joining the Cabinet without any hesitation if we get an invite from NDA leaders, especially PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, and simultaneously given proportional representation as per the numbers. This will make the NDA more progressive, cohesive and broad-based.”
On Thursday, Tyagi denied there was any contradiction in his statement. “I had said we would welcome an offer of proportionate representation if it comes from Modi or Shah. But I never said there is an offer right now,” he said.
The JD (U) had ruled out participation in the Modi@2 cabinet after it was offered one Cabinet berth, as against at least two the party was reportedly expecting.
Both BJP and JD (U) had contested on 17 seats each in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and won on 17 and 16, respectively.
Kumar had initially hinted that his party would like to become a part of the union government. He, however, backed out after coming to know that only a “symbolic representation” was on offer to each coalition partner and that the JD(U) too could have only one representative, like other allies.
The JD (U) has 16 MPs in Lok Sabha and six in Rajya Sabha.
“The U-turn by JD (U) shows the uneasiness in alliance. Nitish Kumar of today has lost clout. It was his party which had floated the idea of proportional representation. Tyagi’s statement on Wednesday that the 2015 mandate was against the BJP showed the oneupmanship going in the alliance,” said political analyst D M Diwakar from the AN Sinha Institute for Social Studies.