NDA heading for a split in Bihar? Nitish Kumar puts BJP on notice, JD(U) asks all MLAs to report to Patna

BJP-JD(U) row: The meeting of legislators called by the JD(U) comes amid growing speculation of a split between the ruling alliance partners in Bihar.

nitish kumar on NDA
Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (Photo source: PTI)

Nitish Kumar summons JDU MLAs to Patna: In clear signs of the growing frictions within the National Democratic Alliance government of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered all its MLAs to be present in Patna by Monday evening when an important meeting of legislators has been convened.

The meeting comes amid growing speculation that the alliance between the BJP and JD(U) was heading for a split. On Sunday, as Nitish Kumar skipped a meeting of the NITI Aayog governing council chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the JD(U) accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy against its alliance partner in Bihar.

Notably, Nitish skipped the Central meeting citing his recovery from Covid-19  but was present at an event organised by the Bihar government in Patna to mark National Handloom Day at the same time. This was the fourth Central meeting, two led by PM Modi, that Nitish has skipped in less than a month’s time. 

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal has also called a meeting of its MLAs on Tuesday, reports The Indian Express.

Also Read: Alliance woes: JD(U) ramps up attack against BJP amid row over Nitish Kumar skipping central event

Lashing out at the BJP indirectly on Sunday, JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh claimed conspiracies were hatched against the Bihar CM. “One was the Chirag model of 2020, which was responsible for bringing down our Assembly seats to 43. Another had been in the making and was nipped in the bud,” he said, referring to ex-Union minister RCP Singh who had accepted a Cabinet berth bypassing Nitish.

At the press conference on Sunday, Lalan Singh reiterated the JD(U)’s stand that it will not be part of the Union Cabinet led by PM Modi, a line it has maintained as a mark of protest against the “token representation” of one ministerial berth it was offered by the BJP.

Also Read: Why BJP’s Bihar outreach should leave Nitish Kumar a worried man

On Saturday, RCP Singh quit the JD(U) after being dealt a series of snubs by Nitish Kumar. He had to step down as a Union minister after the JD(U) refused to give him another term in the Rajya Sabha. After he stepped down, the Bihar government moved swiftly to vacate him from his official 7, Strand Road bungalow that had been home to him and his family for over a decade. This was followed up with the party issuing a notice to him alleging that he had amassed vast properties in the name of his family in the past nine years.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Lalan Singh remained non-committal on whether the JDU and BJP would contest polls together. “Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Anything can happen to me tomorrow. Why (talk about) 2024 (Lok Sabha polls), ask about 2029?” he said in response to a question.

Notably, the statement came barely a week after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Patna that the BJP and JD(U) would contest the 2024 Lok Sabha and 2025 Assembly elections together. Party president JP Nadda is also believed to have told BJP leaders in the state that the NDA in Bihar will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections under Nitish Kumar’s leadership.   

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