October 22, 2020

NDA feels return of stability

Patna: After the recent monsoon session, NDA MLAs feel the relationship between BJP and the JDU has “more or less stabilised”.

“There was a joint sitting of NDA legislators for the first time after the NDA came to power in July 2017,” a JDU legislator said, declaring also that he did not recall such joint meetings of MLAs taking place in the days of the Grand Alliance.

“The meeting preceded the monsoon session. It was a ritual but it happened for the first time. In fact, we legislators said at the meeting that we have sat together after a long time.”

The feeling of stability comes not just from the joint meeting of NDA legislators. Legislators from both the BJP and JDU recall that deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi strongly defended the government on the Muzaffarpur shelter home episode.

“At the behest of chief minister Nitish Kumar, Sushilji was also quick to issue a rejoinder to RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha’s statement that Nitish should not be the NDA’s chief ministerial face in 2020. Without taking any names, Sushil declared that he did not agree with the views of a section of NDA leaders,” said a JDU MLA.

Talks between Nitish and BJP chief Amit Shah earlier this month have also triggered a “belief” among BJP and JDU MLAs that they are going to stick with each other in the polls. “After one-to-one talks and dinner, the two leaders came out smiling from 1 Aney Marg,” said a JDU minister. He, however, asserted that the thorny issue of seat sharing was yet to be resolved.

“But there is a growing feeling that we will fight the polls in 2019 together,” he said.

The relationship between the JDU and the BJP has been strained in the past. The perfect understanding during NDA-1, when chief minister Nitish Kumar used to call a joint meeting of NDA MLAs, and then a separate one for BJP MLAs before legislative sessions, is missing in NDA 3. The past year has been marked by mistrust and charges and counter-charges by MLAs of both parties. There was also a public spat over who would be the bigger brother in the alliance, the BJP’s role in the Ramnawami flare-up and number of seats to be contested.

“But eventually things are settling down,” said a JDU leader.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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