“Being the largest constituent of NDA, BJP has to decide who will the lead or be the face of the coalition in Bihar assembly election. LJP will support any decision taken by BJP in the interest of Bihar and our alliance,” Chirag tweeted on Saturday.
The Lok Sabha MP from Jamui told reporters in New Delhi that his entire focus is on good performance of NDA in the upcoming elections. “Most candidates of the NDA should win, including candidates fielded by LJP. We are working for the victory of NDA in the elections,” he said.
The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) took strong exception to Chirag’s statement. “There can be difference of opinion on some issues in a democratic setup but if it becomes a trend, then it is unfortunate. NDA’s top leadership has already decided that upcoming assembly elections in Bihar will be fought under the leadership of CM Nitish Kumar Ji. He has been a performer, delivered in the past 15 years and he is a guarantee for the victory of the ruling alliance in the elections. People of Bihar have faith in the alliance, thus such statements hold no relevance,” JD (U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told TOI.
BJP functionaries too ruled out any differences in the alliance on the issue of leadership. “We understand what Chirag is saying but it has already been announced by BJP national president J P Nadda and his predecessor and Union home minister Amit Shah that NDA will go to the election under the leadership of JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar. Thus, there is no confusion on this issue,” BJP’s Bihar unit vice-president Devesh Kumar told TOI.
Opposition parties, however, have taken a dig at the NDA after Chirag’s statement. Congress MLC Prem Chand Mishra said such statements indicate that all is not well in the ruling coalition.
“Such a statement by Chirag shows all constituents of NDA do not want to go to the polls under the leadership of Nitish. It clearly shows that things are not good within the NDA,” Mishra told reporters.
RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari, on the other hand, said Chirag’s statement does not hold much relevance. “Such statement could have more weightage, if it was said by Chirag’s father,” he said.
Chirag had criticised the performance of Nitish government earlier. During his “Bihar First, Bihari First” Yatra, which he had to cancel due to Covid-19 pandemic, Chirag questioned the state government on various issues, including health facilities, law and order and lack of industries in Bihar.