Mon, 08 Aug 2022 01:58 PM IST
Despite Union Home Minister Amit Shah's assurance that the Janata Dal-United remains a key ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is clearly upset with his alliance partner that has left the saffron party in a fix.
Although Kumar's party has stated that "all is well" between the two allies, his recent actions such as skipping the NITI Aayog's Governing Council meeting, missing President Droupadi Murmu's swearing-in ceremony, not fielding former Union Minister RCP Singh in Rajya Sabha polls indicate otherwise.
Multiple reports have also emerged that Kumar is not happy with the BJP on multiple issues. Number 1, the JD(U) is upset with the BJP giving it just one seat in the Union Cabinet in the NDA 2. According to a report by NDTV, Kumar is also upset with the BJP over the Modi government's "offer of token representation to allies as Union Ministers".
It must be noted that RCP Singh, once a trusted loyalist of Kumar, had bypassed the Bihar Chief Minister and held talks the BJP directly to become a minister in the Modi Cabinet. Singh has left the JD(U) now, saying the party is a "sinking ship".
However, we would like to mention here that the party has clarified that it does not want a share in the Union Cabinet.
"We had decided in 2019, after the Lok Sabha polls, not to join the government at the Centre. We stick to that stand," JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh said on Sunday. "The decision not to join the Union government was taken by our leader Nitish Kumar who was then also the party's national president."
Meanwhile, reports have also suggested that Kumar is upset with the BJP after several of its leaders attacked the JD(U). He also wants Bihar assembly speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha removed and had attacked him of "openly violating the constitution by questioning the government".
Kumar also wants more say in Bihar, where the BJP has far more MLAs in the state legislative assembly than the JD(U). In the recent cabinet expansion, he included eight JD(U) MLAs in the Bihar cabinet, but left just one seat vacant for the saffron party.
Some in the Bihar unit of the BJP also have a feeling of mistrust with the JD(U). However, the saffron party currently is in no mood to engage in a spat with Kumar's party, which is its oldest ally.
"Our ties have been with Nitish Kumar and these go back to 1996 when his party was called Samata Party. We do not pay much attention to what others in his party say," state BJP spokesman Prem Ranjan Patel was quoted as saying by PTI.
"Our leader, nationally, is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in the state, it is the chief minister. So we reiterate that we will contest the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Nitish Kumar's party and fight the assembly elections under his leadership," he added.