JDU says Nitish Kumar supreme, no seat talks yet, alliance to stayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/jdu-says-nitish-kumar-supreme-no-seat-talks-yet-alliance-to-stay-bjp-lok-sabha-elections-5251410/

JDU says Nitish Kumar supreme, no seat talks yet, alliance to stay

Nitish Kumar also said he has not received any proposal from the BJP so far regarding seat-sharing in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

JDU chief Nitish Kumar during national executive meeting at party headquarters amid strained ties with BJP, in New Delhi on Sunday. (Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said at this party’s national executive meeting that JD(U) has nothing to do with Crime, Corruption and Communalism. The party also asserted that the JDU has not merged in the BJP and has a different ideology.

Nitish also said he has not received any proposal from the BJP so far regarding seat-sharing in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The party, however, stressed that the alliance with BJP was intact and both the parties will contest the Lok Sabha elections together. The JD(U) also said it cannot be ignored in Bihar politics and that Nitish was the “tallest leader” in the state.

After the meeting, party secretary general K C Tyagi told reporters that Nitish had categorically said in his address that the JDU has nothing to do with Crime, Corruption and Communalism. “We quit the grand alliance in Bihar on the issue of corruption,” he quoted Nitish as saying.

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Tyagi further said the JD(U) is proud of its own ideology. “We will not dilute our ideology.”

He said three elections had been won in Bihar in the past on Nitish’s credibility and the upcoming elections would also be won under his leadership. In reply to a question, Tyagi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the face of NDA, but Nitish is the tallest leader in Bihar.

“Our alliance with BJP will continue. NDA can make a dominating presence on 38 of 40 Lok Sabha seats,” said Tyagi. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA alliance of the BJP, the LJP and the RLSP won 31 seats, while the JD(U), which contested separately, won two seats.

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On seat-sharing with the BJP, Tyagi said Nitish has made it clear that there was no proposal before him so far and it will not be appropriate to comment on the basis of apprehensions. “The party is not in any tension regarding seat-sharing. When the proposal will come, party will discuss whether it in its favour or not,” he said.

The JD(U) also rejected speculations of joining the Grand Alliance again. “Fresh discussions regarding talks with Congress are meaningless until the Congress sever ties with a corrupt party like RJD and clears its view on the corrupt leadership of RJD,” said Tyagi.

During the national executive meet, the JD(U) also decided to independently contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Manipur. Tyagi said the party will contest the elections to carry forward its political agenda on selected seats in “socialist belt” of these states. “The JD(U) will contest, but not to help or defeat any particular party,” Tyagi said.

The meeting also discussed the subject of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislatures and clarified that in principle, the JD (U) has been in support of simultaneous elections. But on a question on whether he would support simultaneous elections in Bihar, Tyagi replied in the negative, arguing that the party has got the mandate to rule till 2020.

As the meeting was on, a section of JD(U) workers gathered outside were speculating on whether the meeting would see a decision on the party walking out with the NDA. “What have we got by joining hands with the NDA? No JD(U) leader has been inducted in the Union cabinet. Neither the JD(U) nor Bihar state has benefited,” said Manoranjan Kumar Singh, a party worker from Bhagalpur.

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