Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday predicted that the National Democratic Alliance will win over 200 seats in the Assembly elections that are scheduled next year, PTI reported. Kumar also said those who attempt to create a rift between Janata Dal (United) and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party will be in trouble.

“Try to recall the 2010 Assembly polls. Skeptics doubted that we will get majority,” Kumar said at a state council meeting of his party in Patna. “We ended up winning 206 out of 243 seats. Rest assured we will cross 200 next year.” He also lashed out at his detractors, saying that many of them had admitted to criticising him “because it was their USP”.

The chief minister also asked members of his party to refrain from commenting on the “slanderous remarks” by his critics. “I would advise my party spokesmen, do not get drawn into all this,” Kumar said. “Avoid reacting to every slanderous remark that may be made against me.” The JD(U) chief claimed that the relationship between his party and the BJP was fine irrespective of what others said.

In June, the JD(U) had announced that it will not be a part of the NDA outside Bihar. The party will contest upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi alone.

On May 23, when the Lok Sabha election results were announced, Kumar had hinted at joining the new government. He had then said that it was “a given” that allies will be part of the NDA government. However, during the formation of the Union Cabinet, the JD(U) was offered only one portfolio, with which the party was reportedly unhappy.

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. 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.

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