Sushil Modi says Nitish is captain of NDA, later deletes tweet

Amid murmurs of leadership change in Bihar's ruling NDA, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday said in a tweet that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will continue to lead the alliance in the Assembly election next year which he later deleted.

In a post on Twitter, Modi called Kumar the captain of the NDA.

This comes days after senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan said that Kumar should now step down as Chief Minister and make way for the BJP.

"Nitish Kumar is the Captain of NDA in Bihar and will remain its Captain in next Assembly elections in 2020 also. When Captain is hitting four and six and defeating rivals by inning where is the question of any change," Modi said in the deleted tweet.

Sources in BJP said that Modi might have deleted the tweet under pressure from top leadership. In Parliament, JD-U was the only BJP ally which opposed the Triple Talaq Bill and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a bid to keep its secular image, the JD-U opposed the bills but walked out of Parliament before voting. The BJP has been highlighting both issues as major achievements of the Modi government.

Paswan, also a member of the state Legislative Council had earlier said the BJP entrusted him with the Chief Minister's post for 15 long years and now he should reciprocate the gesture.

His remarks came after a poster war began between the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United and the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

The JD-U had released a poster with the slogan "kyon kare vichar, thike to hain Nitish Kumar (why should we discuss over when it's okay to have Nitish Kumar) but they revised it when RJD responded by putting up a poster with a slogan criticising Kumar for the "increasing crime, corruption, AES deaths and stealing the mandate".

The revised version of JD-U's poster came up with slogan "Kyon kare vichar, jab hain hi Nitish Kumar" (Why should we mull over, when there is Nitish Kumar).

Following that, RJD hit back with another slogan - 'Kyun na karein vichar, Bihar jo hai bimar' (Why should we not think when Bihar is unwell).