BJP-JDU Tie Firm in Bihar, Will Contest Polls Together; Says Amit Shah

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with BJP national president Amit Shah (file photo).

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Patna: Putting an end to speculations whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would dump Janata Dal – U ahead of the next year's Assembly elections, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday, in no uncertain terms, declared that the BJP would continue to remain a partner of Nitish Kumar in Bihar and the state elections will be contested under the leadership of the JD-U leader.

"Despite reports in the media, our alliance with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal – U is very strong and it will remain so in the coming years. The NDA will contest Bihar polls under the leadership of Nitish Kumar and at the national level, we will contest elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Shah told reporters in Delhi on Thursday.

Decrying any sign of crack in the NDA in Bihar, the BJP president further said that a little back and forth between the parties was quite normal and, in fact, a sign of healthy relationship.

"Difference of opinion does not necessarily means disagreement of the hearts," Shah said.

There has been widespread reporting that the BJP was ready to go solo in Bihar after severing ties with Nitish Kumar whose political stars seem to be on a downward trajectory particularly in the wake of the recent flooding of Patna.

Senior BJP leaders including Dr. C P Thakur and Sanjay Paswan have already floated the idea of a BJP face as the new Chief Minister of Bihar and reports have also suggested firebrand Union Minister Giriraj Singh angling for Kumar's post if NDA came to power again in 2020.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and JD-U leader Shyam Rajak wasted no time in thanking Shah for putting the rumors to rest.

"Where are those who were saying that the NDA was on the verge of split in Bihar?" Modi said while taking a victory lap.

Rajak, on the other hand, thanked Shah for his unwavering trust in Nitish Kumar while stating it was a slap on the face of anti-NDA parties who were cheering for a crack in the coalition in Bihar.

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