Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to meet BJP top brass to iron out differences

The Bihar chief minister is learnt to be keen to seal the pact to end speculations going around the future of the NDA in the state.

Published: 30th June 2018 12:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2018 12:06 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar CM and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar. | File PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With the issue of tricky seat adjustment haunting the NDA in Bihar, the state chief minister Nitish Kumar is likely to hold discussions with the top brass of the BJP, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party chief Amit Shah next month. While the BJP maintains that it's too early to hold seat adjustment talks with the allies, the Bihar chief minister is learnt to be keen to seal the pact to end speculations going around the future of the NDA in the state.

The Bihar chief minister is likely to be in the national capital on July 6 ahead of the two days national executive of the JD (U). "The meeting of the chief minister with the Prime Minister is on the cards. Kumar may like to hear from what the Prime Minister has to say about the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and the space which the BJP may like to give to the NDA allies," sources said.

The BJP chief is also likely to visit Patna next month to review the organisational issues in Bihar. Sources said that Shah may meet the Bihar chief minister during his stay in Patna. Incidentally, Shah had reached out to the Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray and Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Prakash Singh Badal as part of the outreach to cement ties within the NDA. The BJP chief has already met the LJP leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

The prospects of the seat adjustment within the NDA is apparently fuelling speculation about the move of the Bihar chief minister who had contested the 2015 state Assembly elections in alliance with the RJD and Congress. "The BJP-LJP-RLSP alliance had bagged 32 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections. Now that the JD (U) is back in the NDA fold, the allies will need to cede space to accommodate Kumar. The logical way out will be to adopt give and take stance to stay united for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections," said a senior BJP leader, who added that both the BJP and JD (U) would need to climb down from their maximalist positions.

Incidentally, the JD (U) leaders maintain that the party can no longer justify the demand for 22 Lok Sabha seats as had been the case in the 2009 elections, but a middle ground need to be found. The BJP with 22 sitting Lok Sabha MPs would need to sacrifice a few of the seats to retain a united NDA in the 2019 polls, added the BJP leader. ENDS

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