The Janata Dal (United) will not be a part of the National Democratic Alliance outside Bihar, the party’s national executive meeting decided on Sunday, PTI reported. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other senior leaders such as KC Tyagi, Bashistha Narain Singh and Prashant Kishor attended the meeting in Patna.
The party will contest upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi alone, according to ANI.
“We want to make the JD(U) a national party,” said KC Tyagi, flanked by party general secretaries Pavan Verma and Sanjay Jha. “The JD(U) is a recognised party in Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh. We will fight elections in four states of Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir with all our strength and might. And it will be our endeavour to achieve the status of a national party by 2020.”
The announcement came amid tense relations between the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party. On May 23, when the Lok Sabha election results were announced, Nitish Kumar had hinted at joining the new government. He had said that it was “a given” that allies will be part of the NDA government. In the Lok Sabha elections, the JD(U) won 16 seats and the BJP secured 17 in Bihar. The parties’ other ally, the Lok Janshakti Party, had won six seats.
However, during the formation of the Union Cabinet, the JD(U) was offered only one portfolio, with which the party was reportedly unhappy. Nitish Kumar said on May 31 that allies should have been given proportional representation in the Union Cabinet, but also claimed that his party had never asked for any berth.
Days later, Nitish Kumar expanded the Bihar Cabinet by inducting eight new ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United). Kumar offered only one position to ally Bharatiya Janata Party, but the saffron party decided not to take it.