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No discontent in NDA, seat-sharing to be decided in 2019, says Nitish

JD(U) leader also sought to distance himself from assertions by some leaders that his party be acknowledged as "big brother"

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Nitish Kumar, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Durbar Hall

today said seat-sharing will be discussed and decided within the NDA when elections come and "there is no discontent" in the ruling alliance, as he distanced himself from reports about his party demanding 25 out of 40 seats in next

Kumar sought to put the blame on political leaders trying to seek "publicity" by making out of turn statements in newspapers, TV channels and on

"You can see all of us working together. There is no discontent. The problem is, today newspapers have more pages than before, news channels run 24X7 and then there is where anybody can say anything without worrying about backing a claim with facts," he said.

Speaking to reporters here, the JD(U) also sought to distance himself from assertions by some leaders that his party be acknowledged as "big brother" in the coalition comprising BJP, LJP and RLSP within the state.

"When elections come, all things, seat-sharing included, will be discussed and decided. This is not the time. Though some people may go on issuing statements for publicity, these have no substance (inmein koi dam nahin hai)," Kumar said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of Lok Samvad, a public interaction programme where common people of the state are given an opportunity to come up with suggestions for improving governance.

He was talking to reporters in presence of a number of his cabinet colleagues, including Deputy and BJP Sushil Kumar Modi, as also ministers and

The chief minister, who returned to the BJP-led coalition last year after leaving the comprising RJD and as part of which he had fought and won the 2015 assembly polls, was responding to the political controversy that had erupted last week after some JD(U) leaders demanded Kumar being made "face" of the NDA in

Reacting to the demands, BJP leaders had said that was the face of the NDA in the country while was its in

The demands by JD(U) leaders for making Kumar face of the NDA in Bihar and his party "the big brother" in the coalition was also seen by some as a tactical position for getting a lion's share in the seat-sharing arrangement. This prompted another alliance partner RLSP to say that the next elections as well as the state assembly polls should be fought under the leadership of its chief Upendra Kushwaha, who is also a

A former JD(U) leader, Kushwaha had formed the after falling out with

Kushwaha also skipped a get-together of top NDA leaders in Bihar on Thursday last week though he claimed that he did not attend the function because of unavoidable personal reasons.

An hosted by Kushwaha yesterday here was not attended by Kumar, Sushil Modi and leaders from the LJP, which further fuelled talks of discontent within the NDA in Bihar.

Before Kumar walked out of the NDA in middle of 2013 over elevation of as prime ministerial candidate, the JD(U) and BJP had together fought in Bihar in 2005 as well 2009. In those elections, JD(U) had fielded candidates on more number of seats vis-a-vis the saffron partner.

But, in 2014 riding on popularity of Narendra Modi, the NDA won 31 out of a total 40 seats in Bihar. While BJP bagged 22 seats, LJP of 6 and of 3.

JD(U), which had fought the 2014 polls alone, could manage only two seats.

With Kumar's return to the NDA in July last year, a raging debate has been triggered within the coalition now on seat-sharing between the four partners.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 17:49 IST