The Janata Dal (United) on Thursday rubbished Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha’s claim that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will relinquish his post after the 2020 Assembly elections. A Janata Dal (United) spokesperson said Kumar would continue in the post for as long as the people of Bihar want him to, PTI reported.

“We do not have to say anything about the veracity of Kushwaha’s claim,” Janata Dal (United) National General Secretary Shyam Rajak said. “What we wish to underscore is that Nitish Kumar became the chief minister not out of his own personal desire but because the people of Bihar wanted to see him in that role. And they have been reaffirming their faith in his leadership by voting him back to power.”

“Nitish and Kushwaha may be brothers in arms, but Nitish Kumar’s popularity remains unmatched,” Rajak added, according to the Hindustan Times. The party’s spokesperson Ajay Alok said the chief minister’s chair is “no rasgulla”.

“Nitish Kumar doesn’t want to be the next chief minister of Bihar,” Kushwaha had said at an event held by the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party in Patna on Wednesday to mark Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary. “He personally told me that how long will he hold on to the post. He wants to quit.” However, Kushwaha added that he was not demanding the chief minister’s resignation.

Kushwaha’s remarks came amid reports that he was upset with the National Democratic Alliance for not assuring his party of a respectable seat-sharing deal in the 2019 elections. He also asked why his party was not inducted in the Bihar Cabinet when the Janata Dal (United) joined the BJP-led alliance in July 2017.