NDA Leaders Meet in Patna to Counter Rumors of Crack within the Alliance

Sushil Kumar Modi greeting Nitish Kumar at the NDA meet in Patna on Thursday.

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Patna: To quell any rumor of cracks within the ruling NDA in Bihar, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal – U, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) gathered at a 'Dinner Summit' at Gyan Bhawan in Patna in a display of unity meant to send signals to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, and other opposition leaders.

Prominent among those present at the meeting included Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who was warmly welcomed by BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi, also his deputy; and BJP state President Nityanand Rai; Ravi Shankar Prasad, LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan, his son Chirag Paswan, and his two brothers Ramchandra Paswan, Pashupati Kumar Paras, BJP leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Though two leaders of the RLSP – Bhudeo Chowdhary and Nagmani were present at today's NDA bon homie, party President Upendra Kushwaha was conspicuous by his absence.

The leaders put up their best faces before the media in a clear attempt to show absolute unity within the alliance while also sending a strong message to the RJD-led Grand Alliance not to get too excited about regional parties' recent wins in some states including Karnataka.

"There is no difference within the NDA over any issue, including sharing of the seat in the next Lok Sabha polls. We will all sit together in the coming days and work out seat-sharing arrangement in a friendly, amicable manner. People should not pay any attention to the propaganda spewed by our opponents," Nityanand Rai said.

With Kushwaha lately challenging the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying he was a much better leader than the JD-U president, speculations have been rife about him walking out of the NDA and joining hands with the Grand Alliance.

RLSP leaders, however, downplayed Kushwaha's absence saying he missed his flight from Delhi but will arrive in Patna on Friday and then hold meetings with the NDA leaders.

Earlier, Jitan Ram Manjhi, the leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), had set the precedence by breaking away from the NDA and joining the Grand Alliance while accepting former Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav as his leader throwing his weigh behind him in Yadav's bid to become the next Chief Minister of Bihar.

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