Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday reiterated that his Janata Dal (United) was very much with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance after the party opted out of the Cabinet of ministers at the Centre, ANI reported. The decision was made after only one ministerial berth was allotted to the ruling party in Bihar.
However, Kumar asserted that allies should have been given proportional representation in the cabinet, PTI reported.
“As the JD(U) national president, I want to tell that there is no question of JD(U) joining the Union cabinet in the future,” he said.
“When I was told one ministerial berth will be given to JD(U), I said we don’t need it but I’ll ask my party,” Kumar told reporters. “I asked everyone, they said it’s not appropriate that we show only symbolic participation when we’re together. We’re together, not upset.”
The regional party was reportedly unhappy with the portfolio that had been offered. However, Kumar clarified that his party never asked for any berth. “I am seeing reports in newspapers that we had asked for 3 berths, this is false,” he said. “We had not asked for any berth.”
Moments before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony on Thursday, Kumar had said that the JD(U) informed BJP that it does not need the Cabinet berth. “It is not a big issue, we are fully in NDA and not upset at all,” he had said. “We are working together, no confusion.”
On May 23 when the Lok Sabha election results were announced, 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.
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.