For the first time since his move last month to sever ties with the 'Mahagathbandhan' alliance in Bihar and form a BJP-led NDA government in the state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital. Nitish Kumar also reiterated that he would never leave the NDA again.
Following his meeting with the prime minister on Wednesday, Nitish Kumar met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda and is believed to have discussed a host of governance and political issues related to Bihar.
Nadda said in a post on X after the meeting that they had a constructive discussion on various issues, including the state's development and progress.
"I have full confidence that the NDA government in the state will continuously touch new heights of development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's able leadership," he said.
In brief remarks to reporters, the JD(U) chief recalled his association with the BJP since 1995, before he broke the ties in 2013, and said he might have left it twice but will never do it now.
"Never now. We will remain here (in the NDA)," he said.
Nitish Kumar had taken the oath along with eight ministers, including three each from the BJP and the JD(U), and an expansion of the council of ministers is on the cards.
Both parties have to deal with a number of tricky political issues ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, including the distribution of parliamentary seats for contesting the election between them and their smaller allies.
The BJP and the JD(U) contested 17 seats each in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while the then Lok Janshakti Party, now divided into two factions, contested six.
The NDA now also includes former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.
There is also a view that Kumar wants the Bihar Assembly dissolved so that its election could be held along with the Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May, but the BJP, which has much more strength than the JD(U) in the House, might be cold to the idea, sources said.
Asked about the seat-sharing issue, Kumar played it down, saying BJP leaders are aware of it.