Dismissing reports of BJP and JD(U) facing serious differences over a myriad of issues including the allocation of seats for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said that his party's alliance with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will continue in Bihar.
Referring to the BJP-JD(U) alliance govt in Bihar, Amit Shah said that Nitish Kumar came back to NDA as he could not have continued with the corrupt people.
Dismissing speculations over strained relations between BJP and JD(U) over seat sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah said that the NDA will win all 40 seats of Bihar.
He said that during UPA regime, of which Lalu Yadav was also a part, the thirteenth finance commission gave Rs 1.93 lakh crore rupees to Bihar.
"Modi government has given Rs 4.31 lakh crore to Bihar," he added.
Earlier in the day, Amit Shah held breakfast meeting with Nitish Kumar at the state guest house. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and the BJP’s state president Nityanand Rai were also present during the breakfast meeting.
This is the BJP chief's first visit to the state since the dramatic political realignment of last year when Kumar, the JD(U) national president, walked out of the Grand Alliance which included the RJD and the Congress, and returned to the NDA.
The two leaders will now meet over dinner hosted by Kumar at his house around 8pm and are expected to work out the differences and kick-start the process of formalising the specifics of the electoral understanding.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has assured the JD(U) that it respects its status in Bihar, and sees the chief minister as indispensable to the future of the state.
The JD(U), in turn, has conveyed to the BJP it is firmly committed to the alliance, is comfortable in it and wishes to resolve the 2019 seat-sharing issue, on “equal and respectable” terms.
The meeting and the dinner hosted by chief minister Kumar also assumes significance as it comes a fortnight before the first anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance 2 government in Bihar. Kumar’s party formed the government with the BJP after walking out of the grand alliance on July 27, 2017.
Earlier in August 2017, Shah had invited Kumar for a meeting over luncheon when he became part of NDA 2 in Bihar.
Thursday’s dinner hosted by Kumar in honour of Shah comes eight years after he had abruptly cancelled a similar party he had planned to host for the BJP leaders who were in Patna to attend the saffron outfit’s national executive in 2010 leading to bitterness between the two.
Three years later, Kumar walked out of NDA after the BJP made Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
The BJP chief's visit to Bihar and his interactions with Kumar is expected to resolve the differences between both the parties and to bring about a broad understanding between the saffron party and the JD(U) over the issue of seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha polls.