The Janata Dal (United) will not be part of the National Democratic Alliance’s Cabinet of ministers at the Centre, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Thursday, moments before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony, ANI reported. Kumar said the decision was made after only one ministerial berth was allotted to the ruling party in Bihar, which would have been “just a symbolic participation”.
“They wanted only one person from JD(U) in the Cabinet, so it would have been just a symbolic participation,” Kumar said. “We informed them that it is okay we do not need it. It is not a big issue, we are fully in NDA and not upset at all. We are working together, no confusion.”
The regional party was reportedly unhappy with the portfolio that had been offered, PTI quoted sources. “We are not joining the government,” said Janata Dal (United) General Secretary Pavan Varma. “This our decision.” The JD(U) was not part of the previous government as well even though it had rejoined the alliance in 2017.
In the Lok Sabha elections, the regional party won 16 seats and the BJP secured 17 constituencies. The parties’ other ally, the Lok Jan Shakti Party, won six seats while the only other seat in the state went to the Opposition Congress.
When votes were being counted on May 23, Kumar had hinted at joining the new government. “And it is a given that allies will be part of the NDA government,” Kumar had said.