With the Bihar elections knocking at the door, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying he “played a big role for a new India and a new Bihar”.
“Bihar was behind in terms of development for many years — politics, cash crunch were some of the reasons,” PM Modi said.
“There was a time when road connectivity, internet connectivity were not discussed. Being a landlocked state, Bihar faced many challenges, Nitish Kumar has played a big role in our aim towards a New India, New Bihar,” he added.
“We are advancing the development of every sector of Bihar, trying to solve the problems of each sector so that Bihar can take a new flight of development as high as the state can fly,” he said.
PM Modi’s remarks are crucial amid the crisis as it comes at a time when the party is going under crisis over the seat-sharing.
According to reports, ally Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party is considering contesting against the Chief Minister’s Janata Dal-United.
The LJP, led by Chirag Paswan, is one of the three constituents of the NDA in Bihar, the other two being the BJP and the JD-U.
The seat-sharing issue is yet to be finalised in the NDA. Although the BJP chief claims seat sharing is no problem for the NDA, the situation on the ground remains entirely different. While Nadda talks about only three parties in the NDA, the fact is that the fourth one, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, is soon to join the NDA.
If that happens, the seats would have to be distributed among four partners since the Manjhi party has stoutly denied the merger of HAM with the JD-U. In that case, the number of seats to LJP’s share will obviously go sharply down. The problem is that while the LJP wants a maximum number of seats to expand its party base and keep the key of government formation with itself, the JD-U wants the lion’s share of seats to ensure it doesn’t remain too dependent on its allies to run the government. This has caused bitterness in the NDA. The situation has come to such a level that the JD-U has announced it doesn’t have any alliance with the LJP.
The LJP, on the other hand, says the JD-U is not their natural ally as it returned to the NDA only after it had won the 2014 LS polls. The LJP president Chirag Paswan has already gone on constantly attacking chief minister Nitish Kumar for his failure to tackle both Corona and floods.
Yesterday, top BJP leaders including BJP chief JP Nadda met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his residence in Patna on Saturday to discuss the seat-sharing arithmetic in the state.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has been tasked with managing the party’s campaign for the Bihar election, and BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav were also present at the meeting.