Following Union Minister and BJP MP Giriraj Singh’s criticism of the Nitish Kumar government over the recent waterlogging in Patna, the JD (U) has said that with “belligerent” people like Giriraj out to target the Chief Minister, there is no need of Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Yadav.
JD (U) national spokerson KC Tyagi told The Indian Express, “Such war of words between alliance partners does not bode well, especially when Assembly polls are due next year. Giriraj Singh has been attacking Nitish Kumar’s governance credentials, which is USP of our leader. With people like Giriraj out to attack us, we do not need Opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.”
Tyagi said JD(U) has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister and the BJP chief in the matter.
“Such acrimony is not good for alliance. While other BJP leaders are not saying anything, we do not understand why Giriraj Singh has been so belligerent. We want clarity,” said the JD (U) spokesperson.
Posturing with eye on elections
The BJP, it appears, wants to keep the JD (U) under pressure and target Nitish Kumar’s tested poll plank, governance. Upset with its alliance partner for not supporting it in Parliament on the NRC, instant triple talaq and Article 370 issues, the BJP seems to be trying to keep Nitish on his toes. This, the BJP hopes, would help it bargain an equal number of seats to contest in the Assembly polls and also help it shrug off the image of a junior partner in the alliance.
Asked if the BJP cannot engage in constructive criticism, especially when NDA has been in power for 13 years, Tyagi said, “BJP can do it privately, but not before the media. It sends wrong signals about the alliance.”
Giriraj said, “If my words cause any strain in the BJP-JD(U) relationship, I am ready to apologise but I will say what I observe. I am free to give my feedback as people’s representative.”
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a veiled attack on Singh during JD(U)’s recent state executive council meet, saying that “some people would lose face after NDA wins 200 plus seats in the next Assembly polls.”