How do you assess the NDA’s performance?
Poor people of Bihar voted for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji and they trusted the BJP and the NDA… It’s a victory for the Prime Minister and the NDA. It’s for Nitish Kumar also. His governance in Bihar for 15 years and its record also helped. People of Bihar have appreciated Modiji’s programmes for the poor – the toilets, gas connections, the Jan Dhan Yojana, etc.
Rallies by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav drew large crowds. Did that make you nervous?
There were crowds on both sides. Even our rallies drew big crowds. But those silent poor people who live in huts voted for Modi.
How important was Bihar for the BJP and PM after the party’s losses in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Delhi, and even Haryana, where you just scraped through?
See, Modiji is our No.1 star campaigner, whether it is an election in the Lakshadweep or on the Andaman Islands. Naturally, he is our USP and whatever he has done for the people goes in support of the BJP. His only concern is to do good things for the poor and that gives the BJP an advantage.
The BJP has emerged as the senior partner in the NDA alliance…
No, that is not true. All four of us partners (including HAM and VIP) are on equal footing. Our bosses have already declared that Nitish Kumar is going to be our Chief Minister. When we decided to be partners, our then national president Amit Shah had said that the NDA would be led by Nitish Kumar. So, that stands.
In case the NDA forms the government, Nitish Kumar will be the CM for five years?
Naturally. When our Prime Minister has said it… Yes, it will be so.
But some BJP leaders have said it is up to Nitish to decide.
These are hypothetical questions. It’s very clear, as a united NDA we fought saying Nitish Kumar will be our Chief Minister. The issue ends there.
What do you think of the LJP’s performance?
They are where they are.
Would the LJP continue to be a part of the NDA?
I am not the one who can answer that question.
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