The Janata Dal (United) announced on Sunday that it will continue to be a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But, it will contest some seats alone in the upcoming Assembly polls in Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The party’s national executive took this decision at its meeting in New Delhi on Sunday.
“It will be decided later as to which party will contest how many seats,” party General Secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha said, according to The Times of India. “The NDA [National Democratic Alliance] will fight the elections together and sweep the state [Bihar].”
Party spokesperson KC Tyagi said a formal resolution had not been passed on this matter at the national executive meeting, but it was “a sort of consensus that we would like to go into the polls in alliance with the BJP”. It would “put to rest all sorts of speculations in the media that we are going to break away from the BJP”, Tyagi told IANS.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi said in a tweet that the Janata Dal (United) had passed a resolution that it will contest the Lok Sabha elections with BJP.
Tyagi also ruled out the possibility of allying with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. The party has, however, kept its options open for the Congress on the condition that it clears its stand about the RJD.
“Our leader Nitish Kumar had met Rahul Gandhi [before leaving the grand alliance] and apprised him about the corrupt Lalu Prasad family,” Tyagi said. “He [Gandhi] didn’t do anything to stop the grand alliance from disintegrating. Rahul Gandhi’s stand on corruption is not clear. Until or unless the Congress makes its stand clear about the corrupt RJD, how can we communicate with it?”
Tyagi also said that the party will contest alone in selected seats in Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, reported The Hindu. The party won one seat in Nagaland in the recent elections there and is part of the NDA alliance ruling the state.
“Some people say we help the BJP, some say we don’t,” Tyagi said. “We are a separate political entity and take decisions for ourselves.”
The party also passed two resolutions during the National Executive – one supporting the idea of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, and the other opposing the Assam Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
In April, the Law Commission of India had recommended that elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies be held simultaneously. In a draft white paper, the commission said the Indian Constitution could be amended to allow simultaneous polls.