The Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said it will consider joining the National Democratic Alliance if the party was given “proportionate representation” in the Union Cabinet, Hindustan Times reported.
This came five months after the JD(U) refused to be part of Cabinet of ministers at the Centre. The alliance party was just offered one berth following the Lok Sabha election results, which the JD(U) had turned down. In June, Nitish Kumar expanded the Bihar Cabinet by inducting eight new ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United). Kumar offered only one position to its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, but the saffron party decided not to take it.
“We will consider joining the Cabinet without any hesitation if we get an invite from NDA leaders, especially PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, and simultaneously given proportional representation as per the numbers,” JD(U) National General Secretary KC Tyagi said at the national executive council meeting in New Delhi. “This will make the NDA more progressive, cohesive and broad-based.”
Nitish Kumar was re-elected party president for the next three years at the meeting.
The JD(U) also reminded the Bharatiya Janata Party that they were given a proportionate representation in the state government, PTI reported.
Tyagi said Kumar had accepted the post of deputy chief minister besides sharing ministerial berths in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls. “We want cohesiveness in Bihar,” he added.
The JD(U) has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha and six in the Rajya Sabha.
Jammu and Kashmir
The regional party also questioned the Narendra Modi government for allowing an unofficial delegation of members of the European Parliament to visit Jammu and Kashmir. “There are several contradictions in the visit,” JD(U) spokesperson Pavan Varma said. “On the one hand India is against internationalising the issue but on the other hand we have allowed a visit by these parliamentarians in their personal capacity. Was it an appropriate time? What is the criteria for selecting these members,” he asked.
Varma, who is a former diplomat, pointed that Indian politicians were unable to visit the state, and said the government should take steps to normalise Kashmir at the earliest.
Tyagi underlined his party’s differences with the BJP over several matters but also added that there is no conflict in their alliance. “The JD(U) may have ideological differences with the BJP but it fully supports the party on issues of national integration and backing the Army,” he said. “We also blindly support the government on its foreign policies.”
He also dismissed attacks by Union minister Giriraj Singh on the functioning of his government. “We don’t give much importance to what other leaders say, as for us BJP means Modi, Shah, JP Nadda, Sushil Modi and its Bihar unit president Sanjay Jaiswal,” Tyagi said.
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