October 19, 2020

NDA allies to strategise & dine together

Patna: The solidarity among the constituents of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar would be exhibited on Monday when legislators of the coalition would break bread together at 1 Aney Marg, the official residence of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

A meeting has been convened of the NDA consisting of the JDU, BJP, LJP and the RLSP on Monday evening to discuss the strategy of the alliance for the ongoing monsoon session of the state legislatives. Followed by the meeting, the legislators would dine together in the presence of the chief minister and his deputy and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi. No such meeting was convened ahead of the budget session held earlier this year and considered to be more important because the state government lays various reports and its budget is approved by the legislature.

“Apart from discussing our strategy to be taken up in the House, this gathering would also send a strong message to our political opponents who keep finding fissures in the alliance and issue meaningless statements,” a senior BJP leader, who is a minister in the Nitish government, told The Telegraph. Sources in the JDU echoed the sentiments when asked about the reason behind convening the meeting.

“Our senior leaders have been categorically stating that all is well in the NDA, still some stray statements given out by a few juniors create confusion leading to speculation about dissensions in the alliance. Such a meeting would provide an opportunity for our senior leaders to send a message to the legislators that they need to exhibit the unity of the alliance and quell any perception which might be hurting its unity,” said a senior JDU leader.

One of the contentious issues, on which some of the leaders from the NDA constituents have been issuing divergent statements, pertains to seat-sharing during the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Though BJP national president Amit Shah during his visit to Bihar on July 12 gave a message that there was no problem in the NDA on the issue, speculation has been rife in the political circles of Bihar that the JDU may walk out of the alliance in case it does not get honourable number of seats. Leaders from the BJP camp, however, have privately shared that the party was in favour of keeping the alliance intact and Nitish was bound to get an honourable offer when the issue is discussed among top leaders of the NDA.

Also, the special status issue emerged as a tricky one with JDU leaders airing their voice in support of its demand openly while the BJP leaders have avoided direct answers to questions on the issue.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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