Patna: Everything is fine between Janata Dal-United (JDU) and the BJP, said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here on Sunday while negating the growing perception of a rift between the two allies after his party did not join Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government at the Centre.
Kumar, who was talking to media persons after the oath-taking ceremony of eight new ministers, Kumar said: “There were vacancies from the JD-U quota in the ministry. So, JDU leaders were inducted. There is no issue with the BJP. Everything is fine between the two parties.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said: “JDU has inducted ministers from its own quota. We have our vacant slots in the state Council of Ministers, which will fill in the future.”
Eight new ministers who were inducted in the state’s Council of Ministers are Ashok Chaudhary, Shyam Rajak, Laxmeshwar Prasad, Bhima Bharati, Ram Sevak Singh, Sanjay Jha, Neeraj Kumar, and Narendra Narayan Yadav. They were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Lalji Tandon at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Earlier, negating talks of a rift between BJP and JDU over the allotment of only one ministerial berth in Prime Minister Modi’s new Cabinet, Rajak told ANI: “The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is intact. People are merely spreading rumours.”
Another JDU leader Neeraj Kumar, who also took oath as a minister today, had said: “JDU will never leave the NDA. Ministry formation is the prerogative of the Chief Minister.”
Former Bihar unit Congress chief Ashok Chaudhary, who was inducted in the ministry today, also said the NDA is intact in Bihar.
The JDU on May 30 decided to not be a part of Prime Minister Modi’s new ministry, rejecting the BJP’s offer of only one ministerial berth.
“BJP wanted only one person from the JDU in the Cabinet. It would have been just symbolic participation. We informed them that we do not need the Cabinet berth,” Chief Minister Kumar had said.
The JDU chief, who later attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30, had said: “It is not a big issue. We are in the NDA and are not upset at all. We are working together. There is no confusion.”
In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, JDU won 16 seats in Bihar, while the BJP bagged 17. Despite being a part of the NDA, the party was also not a part of the last Central government.