Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar, who may make a comeback as the chief minister of Bihar for a fourth term, on Thursday said that the National Democratic Alliance will take a final decision on who will take the top post, ANI reported.
“I have made no claim, the decision will be taken by NDA,” Kumar said, when he was asked who will be the state’s next chief minister.
Kumar added that the NDA alliance partners – the Bharatiya Janata Party, JD(U), the Vikassheel Insaan Party and the Hindustani Awam Morcha – will hold a meeting on Friday. “It is not decided yet when the oath ceremony will take place, whether after Diwali or Chhath,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “We are analysing the results of this election.”
Kumar also said that the BJP will decide whether or not to retain Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party in the alliance, PTI reported. Paswan’s party secured only one seat in the Bihar Assembly polls, but dented Kumar’s prospects.
LJP could manage just the solitary seat of Matihani in Begusarai district by a slender margin of 333 votes. But its vote share went up to 5.7%, as compared to 4.8% in the 2015 elections. In 64 of the 137 seats it contested, the LJP came third but received more votes than the margin of victory.
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The NDA won the Bihar elections by securing 125 seats in the 243-member state Assembly.
Within the alliance, the BJP won 74 seats out of the 110 it contested. Kumar’s party, which fought from 115 seats, won only 43. Other partners such as the Vikassheel Insaan Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) bagged four seats each. This was the first time that the BJP one-upped its ally in the state.
The Mahagathbandhan also put up a strong fight. The RJD emerged as the single-largest party in the elections, winning 75 seats. The Congress won 19, while the Left parties put up an impressive performance with 16 wins.
Experts believe that after emerging the dominant partner, the BJP might impact the choice of Bihar’s next chief minister, with some in the party saying that Kumar can no longer call the shots.
The BJP, however, has maintained that Kumar will be the chief minister. “Nitishji will remain chief minister as it was our commitment,” BJP leader Sushil Modi had said on Wednesday. “There is no confusion on this.”