Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the Bihar Assembly elections. Kumar’s party won only 43 seats out of total 115 it contested, its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls.

“The people are paramount,” Kumar tweeted. “I am grateful to the people for giving the NDA a majority. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continuing support.”

Kumar posted the tweet at the same time when Bharatiya Janata Party was celebrating its victory at the party headquarter in Delhi. Ever since the election results were announced early Wednesday, Kumar did not address media persons or make any statement about it, triggering speculation that he might take some surprise steps because of his party’s poor performance.

However, BJP leaders have reiterated that Nitish Kumar will remain the chief minister of Bihar as per the party’s commitment. Kumar’s JD(U) has been reduced to a junior partner in the NDA after the BJP won 74 votes, one short of Rashtriya Janata Dal’s 75.

In his speech on Wednesday evening, Modi said the victory demonstrated that people trust NDA’s welfare and development policies. He added that an NDA government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar would fulfil the promise of development.

“BJP is the only party whose seats increased in Bihar, even after staying in power for three terms,” the prime minister said.

JP Nadda praises Modi

Meanwhile, BJP President JP Nadda also spoke at length at the party headquarters and hailed Modi’s leadership. “Questions were raised about the leadership of big and powerful countries during the coronavirus pandemic, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a bold and timely decision of lockdown that saved lives of a large number of people,” Nadda said.

The BJP chief said that results show Modi government has taken welfare schemes to the masses and provided all necessary help to people during the pandemic. “People of Bihar have chosen ‘vikas raaj’ over ‘goonda raaj’, ‘DBT [direct benefit transfer] raaj’ over ‘loot raaj’ and LED over lantern,” he told party workers.