New Delhi: The BJP-led NDA in Bihar would remain intact and fight the Lok Sabha elections together in the state, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday following his talks with chief minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar.
Speculation had grown lately over Kumar’s next political step. Several of his party leaders were taking swipes at the BJP and projecting the JD(U) as the senior partner in the alliance, a move unlikely to go down well with the saffron party.
Kumar’s telephonic conversation with RJD chief Lalu Prasad following the latter’s operation in a Mumbai hospital also fuelled the buzz.
Paswan, who described himself as the “cementing force” in the alliance, told reporters that he had spoken to Kumar on Thursday and the JD(U) leader told him that the NDA would remain intact.
“I have spoken to Nitish ji. I also spoke to leaders in the BJP. Let me tell you that the NDA is and will remain intact. We are all in the same ship and nobody will like it to sink,” the LJP president said.
BJP president Amit Shah would visit the state on July 12 and was expected to meet Kumar, he said. Shah had met Paswan recently.
He played down reported differences among the Bihar allies over sharing of seats in the Lok Sabha polls and said it would be sorted out when senior leaders meet.
He described the RJD as “full of dirt” where nobody would like to go.
He dubbed the speculation following Kumar’s talks with Prasad as baseless and said the Bihar chief minister had made four calls to Prasad or his associates in the last few weeks to enquire about his health.
Paswan said everything should not be politicised.
Asked about Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav’s statement that the door for Kumar’s return to the RJD-led alliance was closed, Paswan said he would not comment on his remarks.