Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Thursday said his party’s alliance with the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar will continue, putting to rest rumours about a rift between the two parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Shah met Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday morning. Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Ashwini Choubey and Ram Kripal Yadav, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP President Nityanand Rai were also present at the function.

The BJP national president also took a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for questioning the surgical strikes across the Line of Control in September 2016. “With his affinity to Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad, he will appreciate only fodder and not a military operation of this nature,” Shah said. Shah claimed that India was only the third country in the world after the United States and Israel to undertake such an operation.

The BJP national president claimed that while the United Progressive Alliance government had granted Bihar just Rs 1.93 lakh crore, the National Democratic Alliance had given it Rs 4.33 crore so far. Shah also claimed that the money was reaching people at the ground level, instead of being misappropriated in the fodder scam.

Shah said that the movement for creating a Congress-free India had its beginning in Bihar when Jayaprakash Narayan led the anti-Emergency campaign in 1975. “I am sure the people of Bihar will keep that spirit alive and support the NDA so that it wins all the 40 seats in the state,” he added.

On Sunday, the Janata Dal (United) had announced that it would contest some seats in the Assembly polls in Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh later this year on its own, while remaining a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance for the 2019 elections. The party’s alliance with the BJP was limited to Bihar, Nitish Kumar had said.

In June, Kumar had denied there was discontent in his party over its alliance with the BJP, and had said the coalition would together decide the sharing of seats for the 2019 elections. After reports stated that the JD(U) wanted 25 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Kumar had said some leaders were trying to seek publicity by making statements out of turn.