Nitish Kumar to formally join NDA on 19 Aug; JD(U) likely to get two ministerial berths at the Centre

Patna: Bihar chief minister and Janta Dal (United) national president Nitish Kumar will formally announce joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the party’s national executive meeting called in Patna on 19 August.

BJP president Amit Shah invited Nitish to join the NDA during their meeting in Delhi on Friday. JD(U) leaders said that it was only a formality after Nitish came out of Mahagathbandhan and formed a new government in the state with the help of BJP-led NDA.

 Nitish Kumar to formally join NDA on 19 Aug; JD(U) likely to get two ministerial berths at the Centre

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI

Party’s national general secretary KC Tyagi said, “Nitish Kumar himself will moot the proposal which will be passed unanimously. This is a historic moment for Bihar when the same alliance is at the helm of affairs in the state and at the Centre. Combined efforts of Centre and state will help Bihar reach new heights of development.”

Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the NDA in 2013 after 17 years of togetherness when the BJP decided to project Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate. But this break up was short lived as he declared his inability to continue running the Grand Alliance government with corruption tainted RJD leadership and weakening Congress in July this year.

Nitish’s return to the NDA fold has bolstered its prospects in the 2019 general elections and Nitish might play a bigger role in that process. Sources close to Nitish told News18 that he would be made convenor of the NDA, stature once enjoyed by George Fernandes and Sharad Yadav.

“Narendra Modi ji wants to harness the potential of Nitish Kumar on a national level. Nitish’s image is acceptable to all and his organizational skills will help strengthen NDA in other states also. Mere reflection of the fact that the person who was considered an alternative to Modi has joined him against the UPA is enough to change the political dimension decisively in favour of the NDA”, said a leader close to Nitish.

After joining the NDA, JD(U) will be offered two berths in central council of ministers - one of cabinet rank and the other of minister of state. “However it will take time and it might delay cabinet reshuffle also as the party will try to replace Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar with new members in the Rajya Sabha. If they do not resign on their own then we can go to the disciplinary committee as both are engaged in anti- party activities. If this does not work too, there are ways to ensure their ouster from the Rajya Sabha,” sources said.

JD(U) has two MPs in the Lok Sabha and nine in the Rajya Sabha which is very crucial for the BJP considering it is in minority in the upper house. ​

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Updated Date: Aug 12, 2017 16:25:41 IST