Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah met Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar over dinner on Thursday night in Patna ending all speculations of a rift between the allies.
Shah, who arrived in Bihar for the special diplomatic manoeuvre, is believed to have discussed seat sharing between for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Shah and Kumar met twice – at breakfast and dinner – to ensure that the message of ‘all is well’ goes to members of the two parties as well as their respective supporters.
Reports say that the dinner was exclusively held for a few top leaders from the two parties. While the BJP brass had Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP president Nityanand Rai among others, the JD(U) was represented by state president Vashist Narain Singh and ministers Lalan Singh and Shravan Kumar.
Shah and Kumar also had a one-to-one talk during dinner at an adjacent room. This is Shah’s first visit after Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in July 2017 after parting ways from the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.
The BJP president said that the alliance with JD(U) “will not break” while assuring that the saffron party is completely behind Kumar.
“We are with Nitish Kumar and will continue with him,” he said while addressing the party leaders and workers during the day.
“Opponents should stop drooling…we are not going to indulge in any fight with the JD(U). Together, we are going to make a clean sweep in Bihar,” Shah said.
The BJP chief claimed that his party will form a majority government in 2019 with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister.
“End of Congress will take place in Bihar,” he asserted.
But there is still no clarity on the seat sharing. The JD(U) is reportedly keen on getting a lion’s share of the seats even though two of the other allies from the state in the NDA – Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) led by Ram Vilas Paswan and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) headed by Upendra Kushwaha – performed exceptionally well in the 2014 elections.
While the BJP won 22 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the LJP and RLSP won nine, and the JD(U) won two seats.