Patna, June 9: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United has decided that it will fight the upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Delhi alone and hence will not be part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) outside Bihar.
The JD(U)’s decision on Sunday comes amid strained ties between the alliance members after the NDA saw a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha election. At its national executive meeting held at the official residence of JD-U chief Nitish Kumar here, the party also decided to go it alone in the upcoming Assembly elections so as to expand the party base.
The decision is being seen as Bihar Chief Minister’s reply to the BJP after JD-U opted out of the new government at the Centre last month, in a veiled back-and-forth over ministerial berths in the Union and Bihar state cabinets.
The JD-U as NDA ally won 16 of the 17 seats it contested in the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.
Sunday’s JD-U meeting was chaired by Nitish Kumar and attended by party vice president Prashant Kishor, state presidents and other top leaders, including MPs and MLAs.
Nitish Kumar appealed to JD-U workers and leaders to strengthen the party outside Bihar and focus on its month-long drive to recruit new members.