Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be the face of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Janata Dal-United (JDU) national general secretary Pavan Varma declared on Monday.
“Nitish Kumar is the face of the NDA in Bihar. That is why he is the chief minister. JDU is the largest constituent of the coalition,” Varma said after a meeting of top party leaders at Kumar’s residence in Patna.
In a clear-cut message to the BJP that it was no more in the situation to play the big brother role in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, JDU leader Pavan Varma said that they expect the saffron party to treat its ally with respect.
“We have not had formal talks, our expectation is that the BJP which is the largest party in NDA will deal with its ally in a manner of mutual respect & understanding of certain factors verifiable on the ground,” he said.
JD-U demands 25 of the 40 seats in Bihar
The JD-U, which returned to the NDA fold after ditching the “Mahagathbandhan” with the Congress and the RJD last year, demanded 25 of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
“There had been a seat-sharing formula between the JD-U and BJP in the past. We used to contest on 25 seats and the BJP on rest 15. NDA’s face is PM Modi but in Bihar, it’s Nitish Kumar. There should be no confusion,” JD-U spokesman Ajay Alok said.
Earlier on Sunday, another senior party leader KC Tyagi has said that the JDU was BJP’s “elder brother” in Bihar.
Nothing like elder or younger brother, says BJP
Reacting to Tyagi’s remarks, Deputy CM Sushil Modi said that there was no question of younger or elder brother as Modi is NDA’s national leader while Nitish is the leader of Bihar.
Modi said that there would be no controversy over the seat sharing and expressed hope that both parties will fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together.