Bharatiya Janata Party president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a rally in Vaishali, Bihar, said the BJP would contest in the state assembly election under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Bypassing the rumours of a rift between the BJP and Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)] in Bihar, Shah made it clear that the Bihar assembly election of 2020 would be contested under Nitish Kumar’s leadership. Earlier, LJP president Chirag Paswan had said that the election would be fought only under Nitish’s leadership.
The Bihar unit of the BJP has been raising questions about contesting the election under Nitish Kumar’s leadership. Sanjay Paswan of the party had said that the people of Bihar wanted to see a BJP leader as the chief minister of Bihar. He claimed that the situation in Jharkhand was not the same as that in Bihar. He said Nitish Kumar had a “tired face”, an old one. “People of Bihar now want to see a BJP chief minister in place of a tired Nitish Kumar,” he had said.
The JD(U) had reacted strongly to this statement of BJP leader and former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan and said that action should be taken against such big leaders. JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi had said that the BJP leadership should take cognisance of such statements. He expressed hope that Shah would do that and prohibit such statements coming from BJP leaders in the future.
In the meantime, while there is no love lost between Nitish Kumar and the incarcerated RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, a section of the main opposition party in Bihar has been trying to woo the JD(U) back to a 2015-like mahagathbandhan. RJD vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh reiterated earlier this month that all non-BJP political parties including the JD(U) should come together to oust the BJP from power. Earlier, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) head Asaduddin Owaisi had asked the Bihar chief minister to shun the company of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Shah. If the JD(U) chief does that, AIMIM will support the opposition alliance, Owaisi had said.
During the public meeting today in Vaishali, the home minister targeted the INC over the amended citizenship law (CAA) and said, “Rahul Baba and Lalu Prasad, don’t mislead people on CAA. Mamata Banerjee is misleading people too. I want to say that it is a law to give citizenship, not to take it away.”