PATNA: Serious differences have cropped up in the NDA over the issue of who will be the coalition’s chief ministerial face for Bihar in the next assembly elections barely a year away.
Fresh trouble gripped the coalition after senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi thrown his weight behind the chief minister Nitish Kumar amid the ongoing demand in his party to replace him.
“@NitishKumar is the Captain of NDA in Bihar & will remain its Captain in next assembly elections in 2020 also. When Captain is hitting 4 & 6 & defeating rivals by inning where is the Q (question) of any change?” tweeted Modi today. However, his tweet went missing from his tweeter handle very soon.
Modi’s support for Kumar, however, caused new conflict in the BJP. Reacting to his observation, BJP vice-president Mithilesh Tiwary said it is the party’s high command, and not Modi, who will decide over the NDA’s CM for Bihar.
“Who will be the NDA’s chief ministerial face will be decided at the time of elections,” Tiwari told a local media adding “Only the statements coming from Amit Shah, Bhupendra Yadav and Nityanand Rai should be considered important”.
As such, a section of BJP leaders has been strongly demanding for replacing Nitish Kumar with some BJP leaders.
It all started after senior BJP leader and former Union minister Sanjay Paswan suggested the chief minister Kumar to vacate his throne for the BJP and himself shift to national politics. He went on to add that now it is the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which fetch votes, and not Nitish Kumar.
His demand was supported by former minister Mahachandra Prasad Singh. Former Union minister Dr CP Thakur too joined the debate saying the BJP should be given the chance.
“Today BJP has emerged as the most powerful party in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the organization. So, the next elections should be fought on the face of the Prime Minister,” Thakur observed.
The JD-U, however, strongly objected to such demands and observations coming from the BJP leaders at regular intervals.
“Just as Modi is the Prime Minister face for the NDA at the Centre, Nitish Kumar remains the NDA’s face for chief minister’s post in Bihar,” JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi to the media on Tuesday.
JD-U’s national spokesperson Pawan Kumar Varma asked the BJP leadership to issue clarifications over the statements coming from the BJP leaders. He asked if the statements coming from the BJP leaders are their personal views or the official stand of the party.
The BJP leaders have virtually opened a front against the chief minister right since the JD-U put up two hoardings at the party office through which it tried to convey the message that the Nitish Kumar is the chief ministerial candidate for Bihar and there is no need for any thinking about leadership change.