In what could escalate tensions between the NDA alliance in Bihar, Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United supremo Nitish Kumar on Saturday said that his party paid the price for the delay in the seat-sharing deal for the assembly polls.
Kumar’s dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes nearly two months after the conclusion of the highly anticipated Bihar Assembly Elections 2020.
“The seat distribution within the NDA should have been done five months prior to the elections but that was not done and as a result, JDU had to pay a big price for it. I was not in favour of becoming the chief minister but because of the pressure of BJP and my party, I agreed to assume the post,” Kumar said at the JD(U) state council meeting.
During his address, the Bihar Chief Minister said that the people of Bihar voted for him and the JDU but “false propaganda” was spread against them. He further said that his party failed to anticipate as to “who were their friends and who were not”.
“We failed to anticipate who were our friends and who were not and on whom we should have trusted. After the election campaign, we got to understand that things were not conducive for us but by that time it was too late,” he said.
He also said that the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be implemented in Bihar and his party will oppose it even if it is attempted. “NRC will not be implemented in Bihar and if an attempt is done to do so then our party will openly oppose it,” he said.
The JDU is one of the alliance partners of the BJP-led NDA in Bihar. However, tensions between the two allies have increased over the last few months over the Bihar assembly polls.
Before the start of polls, the BJP has cleared that the elections will be fought under Nitish Kumar’s leadership and he will be the CM. Later, Nitish said that Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 will be his last polls, hinting that he might retire from active politics in 2025.
The NDA secured a 125-seat majority in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly held during October-November, 2020 of which BJP won on 74 seats, JD(U) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents. JD(U) has got 43 seats this time, way less than 71 in 2015.