Nitish Kumar with Sushil Modi in Patna on Monday. (PTI Photo)
Ahead of a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday downplayed the talks of a “rift” between the BJP and JD(U) over sharing of seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as rumours.
The NDA government in the state has been working well and talks of discontent is “all hot air”, Kumar said while responding to a query over reports of simmering discontent within the Bihar NDA.
“There is no proposal (regarding seat sharing). Everything is speculative at this stage. If anyone is saying anything on it, it is all hot air. There has been no differences (with BJP). The government has been functioning well. (Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister) Sushil Kumar Modi has been sitting by me. Can you see any distance?” Kumar said. He was interacting with reporters after ‘Lok Samvad’ — a weekly public interaction programme.
Referring to the JD(U)’s plan to contest polls in other states, including BJP-ruled Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the party chief said: “Every party tries to expand its base. We have alliance with BJP only in Bihar.”
JDU chief Nitish Kumar during national executive meeting at party headquarters amid strained ties with BJP. (Photo: Prem Nath Pandey/File)
Kumar also confirmed that a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, who is scheduled to visit Patna on July 12, was on the cards.
In a veiled reference to Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s meeting with jailed Bajrang Dal activists in Nawada district, the CM said that if anyone thought the police had been wrong in filing an FIR against anyone, they could approach the court.
The Bihar CM, without naming Singh, said: “One is at liberty to give one’s opinion. If one thinks a wrong case has been lodged, one always has option to approach court for relief.”
Kumar ruled out any meetings with RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has returned to Bihar after undergoing a surgery in Mumbai.
“I would rather get Laluji’s health update from media. The way my phone call to Laluji was interpreted was below dignity. I had called four times, once to RJD MP Manoj Jha and twice to Bhola Yadav (Lalu aide and MLA) to know the RJD chief’s well being. There can be differences in politics, but we do not bear any personal grudge towards anyone.”