The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Sunday decided not to be a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance outside Bihar. At its national executive meeting held at the residence of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, the party also decided to go it alone in the upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi.
However, Nitish Kumar made it clear that JD(U) would fight the 2020 Assembly elections in Bihar in alliance with BJP.
राष्ट्रीय कार्यकारिणी की बैठक में श्री @NitishKumar ने स्पष्ट रूप से कहा, “मन में किसी प्रकार का भ्रम न रखें… हमलोग एनडीए में हैं… एनडीए में रहेंगे… बिहार में 2020 का चुनाव साथ लड़ेंगे..!” pic.twitter.com/v1qpO32fN9
— Janata Dal (United) (@Jduonline) June 9, 2019
“We refused central berths and had not put forth any names for them. Amit Shahji had called up Nitish (Kumar) ji multiple times in this regard and our CM said no to him every time,” said Janata Dal (United) spokesperson KC Tyagi after the meeting.
The development comes amid tension between the alliance partners ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah offered a single berth to the JD(U) in the newly-formed NDA government. The party won 16 Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded elections.
“Nitishji had batted for Narendra Modi’s prime ministership in 171 public meetings before the elections. Hence, it is unfair to spread such rumours about him,” Tyagi said.
Speaking on the party’s stand on Article 370, uniform civil code and Ram Mandir, Tyagi said the outfit has already made its position clear on the issues.
“The JD(U)’s stand on Article 370 is well known that we are in favour of it. The party is also in favour of reforms such as uniform civil code but it (party) wants that all the stakeholders should be consulted before taking any final decision. The party chief had written a letter to the Law Commission chairman Justice B S Chauhan in this regard,” he said.
The party has always been of the view that the issue of Ram temple should either be resolved through dialogue or court order, he said.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have said that the issue should be decided by the court, the JD(U) leader said. “We will not compromise on these issues,” Tyagi said. On the JD(U)’s course of action, if the BJP decided to implement its promise of abrogating Article 370, Tyagi said, “We will oppose the move while being in NDA, the way we did it on the issue of triple talaq (when the party voted against triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha).”
When pressed further on the possibility of the JD(U) quitting the NDA government, he reiterated, “We will continue to oppose it while being in NDA… It is your (media) wish that we should part ways.”
Sunday’s meeting was chaired by Nitish Kumar and attended by party vice-president Prashant Kishor, state presidents and other top leaders, including MPs and MLAs. Sources said Nitish Kumar appealed to the leaders to strengthen the party outside Bihar and focus on its month-long drive to recruit new members.
The national executive meeting came on the backdrop of Kishor holding talks with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It had prompted Kumar to say that the political strategist would issue an explanation in this regard during Sunday’s meeting.
“Kishor is associated with an election strategy organisation too. Whomsoever he works for under the banner of his organisation, it has nothing to do with our party. JD(U) has no relation with his work,” he had said on Saturday.
Kishor – who helped out with the recent electoral success of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 2015 – had met the Trinamool Congress supremo at Nabanna (state secretariat) in Kolkata on Friday. Although TMC leaders were tight-lipped about the meeting, sources said the party has signed up Kishor to help it fight the BJP in West Bengal.
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