In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will address a joint rally to kick start the NDA’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. Although the dates have not yet been finalised, the first ever joint political rally of Modi and Nitish will be held in Patna early March. During the rally, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who is part of the NDA alliance in Bihar, is also expected to attend the rally.
“We are coalition partners. Hence, a joint rally, rather more than one rally, has always been there in our planning. One should not read much in the event or them sharing the stage,” The Hindustan Times quoted BJP state vice-president and headquarter in-charge Devesh Kumar, as saying.
When asked about the joint rally after his Lok Samvad (public interaction) programme on Monday, Nitish Kumar didn’t divulge much details but said, “Yes, the talks are on and the PM is likely to visit Patna.”
After pulling out of the grand alliance with the Congress and the RJD in July 2017, Nitish Kumar had returned to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fold. His party, the JDU, had recently announced the seat-sharing arrangements for the coming Lok Sabha elections in Bihar.
As per the seat-sharing formula, Nitish Kumar’s JDU and the BJP will contest an equal number of seats – 17 each, while Paswan’s LJP will fight on 6 seats. LJP’s Paswan will also get a Rajya Sabha berth in the upcoming elections to the Upper House. Bihar is a crucial state which sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.