Patna: BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Saturday asserted that the NDA in Bihar, which also comprises JD(U) and LJP, will contest upcoming assembly polls in the state “unitedly” under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and retain power with a thumping majority.
The BJP chiefs averment at the state headquarters here, dropped hint that the party was looking forward to using its clout to iron out the differences between Kumars JD(U) and Chirag Paswan-led LJP which have been at loggerheads for some time.
Nadda was addressing party workers on the final day of his whistle-stop tour of Bihar, minutes after meeting the JD(U) president whom he is understood to have given the assurance that all differences among the allies will be resolved in time.
Paswan, who has of late adopted a rebellious stance against Kumar, swears by his loyalty towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi in whose cabinet his father and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan is a minister.
It is speculated that the chief minister is of the view that LJP is a late entrant in the NDA in Bihar and hence it need not be given much leeway in seat-sharing arrangements since the JD(U)-BJP alliance has achieved spectacular successes in the past.
Getting a wind of this, the LJP has reacted with indignation and recently some of its leaders asserted that while it will remain in the NDA, it might consider fielding candidates against JD(U) nominees.
The BJP president, who takes pride in his association with Patna where he had spent his early childhood, began his day with a visit to the famous Patan Devi shrine after which the city is named.
He followed it up with a visit to the chief ministers official residence where he was accompanied by BJP colleagues like Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, national general secretary in-charge of the state Bhupendra Yadav and state president Sanjay Jaiswal.
At the meeting which lasted for more than half an hour, the leaders of the two parties are understood to have discussed the key issue of seat-sharing among alliance partners in the NDA. Bihar has 243 members assembly.
Later, he visited the state BJP headquarters to launch the “Atmanirbhar Bihar” campaign, which is a part of the Prime Ministers “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) drive.
He was welcomed by top party leaders from Bihar including Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nityananda Rai.
In his speech, Nadda expressed confidence that the NDA will win the upcoming assembly polls “under the leadership of Nitish Kumar and with the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi“.
He credited Kumar with having ushered in a sea change in the states infrastructure and recalled his childhood when a journey from Patna to Muzaffarpur, situated just 50 kms away, used to be arduous for want of a bridge over the river Ganges.
Showering praises on Modi for “transforming the political culture in the country where resolve has replaced perennial self-doubt”, Nadda spoke about feats like electrification of all villages, millions of cooking gas connections disbursed under the Ujjwala Yojana and the Ayushman Bharat scheme that provides medical insurance cover to low income groups.
He also hailed Modis handling of the corona pandemic, saying “many countries found themselves faced with a choice between saving lives and saving the economy. Our Prime Minister demonstrated that one could achieve both and gave the call of jaan bhi jahaan bhi”.
“I can see Bihar changing before my eyes. I am confident that BJP, JD(U) and LJP will contest the elections unitedly under the leadership of Nitish Kumar and will attain Vijayshree (victory)”, Nadda added.
The BJP chief, thereafter, left for Darbhanga where he addressed a gathering of those involved in the business of fisheries and “makhana” (fox nuts) cultivation.
He spoke about the immense economic potential these items held with proper marketing and branding.
He later headed to Muzaffarpur and called on Rajkumari Devi, popularly known as “Kisan Chachi” whose efforts at promoting entrepreneurship among rural women has earned her the sobriquet, widespread fame and also a Padma award.
“Modi had invited Kisan Chachi to Gujarat while he was the Chief Minister of that state. He has been very appreciative of such endeavors since much before becoming the Prime Minister.
Under his leadership, Muzaffarpur famous for its litchi which has got a GI tag- can undergo a transformation”, Nadda said.
The BJP chief, thereafter, returned to Patna and took part in a meeting of the core committee, held at the residence of Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and attended by top leaders hailing from Bihar, before departure. (PTI)