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  India   Politics  29 Mar 2017  JD-U in secret talks with BJP to rejoin NDA?

JD-U in secret talks with BJP to rejoin NDA?

THE ASIAN AGE. | SREEPARNA CHAKRABARTY
Published : Mar 29, 2017, 1:40 am IST
Updated : Mar 29, 2017, 6:41 am IST

Nitish Kumar is reportedly fed up with Lalu Yadav, as RJD pushes for Tejaswi as CM.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: PTI)
 Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The BJP and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) seem to have embarked upon a mission to mend fences, with some saffron strategists reportedly working behind the scenes to bring the JD(U) back into the NDA fold.

Mr Kumar, whose party was once a part of the NDA, had walked out of the 17-year-old alliance in Bihar in 2013 when Narendra Modi was declared as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate.

Sources told this newspaper that secret talks were being held between top JD(U) and BJP leaders. Eyebrows were again raised when for the first time since Mr Kumar ended his nearly two-decade alliance with the BJP, the party’s senior leaders attended an official dinner at the chief minister’s residence in Patna.

In the recent Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP got a massive mandate, sealing Mr Modi’s leadership.

That the ice between Mr Kumar and Mr Modi was now breaking became evident when the Bihar CM emerged as the only Opposition leader to praise the government’s demonetisation policy. After the UP victory, Mr Kumar openly said the “poor voted for the BJP”. He also said the other Opposition parties, including the Congress, should not have criticised the demonetisation drive as the common man was supportive of it.

The Bihar chief minister is reportedly exploring options of rejoining the NDA after getting fed up with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. At present, Mr Kumar heads a coalition government of the JD(U), RJD and the Congress in Bihar.

The RJD had recently suggested that Mr Lalu Yadav’s younger son Tejaswi Yadav be made the chief minister of Bihar by next year.

It is interesting to note that the JD(U) remained out of the SP-Congress coalition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. Mr Kumar also did not campaign for these parties, though his alliance partner Lalu Yadav campaigned for the SP-Congress alliance.

While the official reason given was that the Samajwadi Party had refused to part with even five seats and refused to ally with the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal, it was clear that the JD(U) wanted to maintain an equal distance from both sides.

Mr Kumar has, however, engaged with Patidar Navnirman Sena leader Hardik Patel in Gujarat.

Tags: nitish kumar, narendra modi, lalu prasad yadav, tejaswi yadav