New Delhi: Days after the BJP and its Bihar allies sealed a seat-sharing arrangement for the next year’s Lok Sabha elections, party MP Gopal Narayan Singh on Wednesday took a veiled jibe at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the “main brand” in the state.
On December 23, BJP president Amit Shah announced that his party would contest on 17 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, while an equal number of seats will go to Janata Dal (United). Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Jantantrik Party (LJP) will contest on six seats.
Responding to the same, Singh told ANI: “Like in all over India, in Bihar also, our main brand is Narendra Modi ji.”
However, he also asserted that both BJP and JD(U) are equal partners and need to support each other, while adding that there should be no comparisons.
“Both JD(U) and BJP are equal partners and there should be no comparisons. If BJP needs (Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar then he also needs the BJP. And if Nitish Kumar’s government is running in Bihar, it is because of BJP’s support,” he said.
While announcing the seat-sharing deal, Shah had said that the alliance would contest the coming Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. He rebuffed any differences of any kind within the NDA alliance in Bihar.
Growing discontentment among the NDA allies in Bihar came out in the open when LJP’s Chirag Paswan told the media that the BJP had digressed to “non-issues” like the Ram temple and had demanded urgent steps to return to the ‘real issue’ of development. He had also expressed unhappiness over the sharing of seats in the state.
Meanwhile, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, after pulling out of the NDA on December 10 over the issue of seat allocation for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, joined the United Progressive Alliance (NDA) on December 20 to be a part of the grand alliance.
The JD(U) had contested the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) against the BJP and even formed the government, but later defected to the NDA and formed the government with the BJP’s support in the state.