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Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Patna on Thursday spared no expense in giving a grand welcome to party national president Amit Shah who arrived in the state capital to hold a meeting of the booth-level Shakti Kendras and also to meet with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to initiate talks related to next year's Lok Sabha elections.

{gallery}newsimages2018/july/071318{/gallery}Upon his arrival at the Patna Airport, Shah was greeted by a large number of BJP workers, supporters, and local leaders who showered flower petals at him and escorted his motorcade to the state guest house where he held an hour-long meeting with Chief Minister and Janata Dal – U President Nitish Kumar to talk about political issues concerning Bihar in the light of next year's Lok Sabha polls.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP state President Nityanand Rai, and Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav were also present in the meeting.

Later, addressing an audience of nearly 10,000 party workers and volunteers at the Bapu Sabhagar, Shah announced that Nitish Kumar was very much a part of the NDA and had no plan of leaving it despite talks among the opposing parties.

"NDA in Bihar is strong and unbreakable. The JD-U president is not going anywhere. He had enough of the corrupt politicians in the Grand Alliance and that's why he left it and came back to the NDA fold. We respect our allies and with their help, we will make sure NDA candidate win at all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Though we lost Chandra Babu Naidu, we gained by Nitish Kumar's return into NDA," the BJP national president said.

Brimming with confidence, Shah said that the 'golden age' of the BJP was yet to come when the party would score victories in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP national president later inaugurated Nanaji Deshmukh Library and launched an e-library at the BJP state headquarters on Birchand Patel Marg.

Shah ended his day at the Chief Minister's official bungalow on 1 Anne Marg in the presence of Sushil Kumar Modi, Mangal Pandey, Nand Kishore Yadav, Nityanand Rai, Prem Kumar, Nagendra (all BJP) and RCP Singh, Vashisht Narayan Singh, Lallan Singh, and Bijendra Prasad Yadav (all JD-U).

In what was being dubbed as the 'dinner diplomacy', Shah, to further sort out any misgivings related to seat-sharing with the JD-U and other NDA allies, made it known that Kumar was the face of the NDA in Bihar while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the face of the alliance at the national level.

"There are no misunderstandings over seat-sharing as we will make sure everyone gets its fair share and everyone is happy," Nityanand Rai said.

Earlier, as Shah's motorcade made its way from the airport to the state guest house, members of the youth Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Indian National Students Union (INSU) showed black flags to the BJP national president in a sign of protest.

Meanwhile, activists from the student wing of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), in a sign of protest against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah who was in the state capital on Thursday to blow the bugle of 2019 Parliamentary elections, made 'pakoras' and served 'paan' (betel leaves) to the passers-by outside RJD headquarters on Birchand Patel Marg.

RJD activists selling 'pakoras' in a sign of protest against the visit of BJP leader Amit Shah in Patna on Thursday.

The act of making 'pakora' was in reference to Shah's statement last February in Parliament when he said that selling 'pakora' for a living was nothing to be ashamed of.

His statement was seized by the opposing Congress Party and other BJP detractors who twisted Shah's off-the-cuff remark into suggesting the BJP would be happy to see Indian youths selling 'pakoras' instead of aspiring for higher positions in private or government offices.

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