Nitish clears the air on JD(U)-BJP pact after Kishor-Sushil Modi spat

Nitish Kumar, JD (U), BJP, NDA, Prashant Kishor, Sushil Kumar Modi
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar replied tersely that all is well between the JD(U) and BJP on the sidelines of an event to pay respect to deceased BJP leader Nabin Kishore Prasad Sinha in the state capital. Photo: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar on Tuesday (December 31) sought to present a united front on his party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying “all is well” in the NDA. This comes after his party’s vice president Prashant Kishor took a dig at BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi just hours ago.

Sab theek hai (All is well),” Kumar replied tersely on the sidelines of an event to pay respect to deceased BJP leader Nabin Kishore Prasad Sinha in Patna. The two parties have been engaged in a war of words lately, with Kishor pitching for a greater number of seats for the JD(U) in the Assembly polls in Bihar due next year, and Sushil Modi dissing him in return without mentioning his name.

Kishor had taken a dig at Modi, reminding him he owed the Deputy CM’s chair to “circumstances” that helped him enjoy power despite his party having lost the last assembly polls in 2015. Kishor further contended his party should contest a significantly higher number of seats than the BJP in the Bihar assembly polls due late next year.

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Also read: Prashant Kishor gets Nitish’s backing on NRC, Citizenship Act

Kishor had also been in disagreement with the BJP with regard to the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and has stoutly opposed the Bill. Although members of the JD(U) voted in favour of the Bill in the Parliament, Kishor claimed Kumar was not in favour of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and had reservations against the new Citizenship law.

However, Nitish’s stance on the amended Citizenship Act remains unclear.

Meanwhile, replying to Kishor’s comment on the issue of seat-sharing and his dig at the deputy CM, Sushil Modi had on Monday (December 30) put out a couple of tweets in which he affirmed assembly polls will be fought “under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.”

He had also expressed displeasure over “violation of coalition dharma” by “those who have entered politics, not driven by ideology but while engaged in the business of collating political data and coining slogans.”

Also read: BJP’s stance change on NRC a tactical retreat, says Prashant Kishor

In another tweet, Modi had ruminated about protests against CAA, NRP and NRC harming national interests and added that “those expecting fat money for their company in this turmoil are busy pursuing their business interests while donning the political garb.”

Kishor, in his latest tweet, sought to better Modi in pungency, saying in Bihar, it is the people and not some other party or its top leadership who have made Nitish Kumar the
leader and the JD(U) the largest political formation. “It is pleasant to listen to discourses on political propriety and ideology from Sushil Modi who became Deputy CM by virtue of circumstances despite the defeat in 2015,” he said.

Kishor’s comment was frowned upon by RCP Singh, JD(U)’s national general secretary (organisation) and its leader in the Rajya Sabha, who described it as an “untimely” statement on the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming assembly election.

The possibility of conflict within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has given hope to opposition parties in the state like the Congress, RJD and RLSP since the NDA had been appearing invincible since the general elections in 2015, in which it won 39 out of 40 seats.

(With inputs from agencies)

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