Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in a tie-up with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, can trounce the formidable BJP in adjoining Uttar Pradesh, the JD(U) asserted on Saturday.
JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan made the averment here while also claiming that the party’s workers in UP want Kumar, the de facto leader, to contest the next Lok Sabha polls in the adjoining state.
“The most enthusiastic demand for our CM as Lok Sabha poll candidate has come from Phulpur. Similar demands have been made by workers in Ambedkar Nagar and Mirzapur. Elections are more than a year away, though, and we are therefore not thinking in terms of accepting or rejecting such demands,” said the JD(U) chief.
He, however, dropped ample hints that the party would like to have a tie-up with the SP, founded by Mulayam Singh Yadav whom Kumar had met during his recent Delhi visit.
“Our leader’s drive for opposition unity is making waves. Although he can choose to contest from any of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the demands arising from UP are indicative of the buzz around his national initiative,” said the JD(U) president.
“If Nitish and Akhilesh (ex-CM and Mulayam’s son) come together, the BJP, which had won 65 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2019, could be bundled out for less than 20,” said Lalan.
The Bihar’s longest serving CM has been showing an inclination to play a role in national politics since his sudden parting of ways with the BJP a month ago.
Kumar has been ruling himself out of prime ministership though there is perceptible enthusiasm about the matter in the “Mahagathbandhan” that he has joined. The seven-party coalition which also includes RJD, Congress and the Left appears formidably placed vis-a-vis the NDA which had made a clean sweep in last Lok Sabha polls, when the JD(U) and late Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP had fought as BJP allies.
Major losses in Bihar and UP, which together account for 120 Lok Sabha seats, could turn the tables on the BJP which enjoys a majority on its own but has lost all major allies.
Incidentally, Kumar has been a member of the legislative council since becoming CM in 2005.
The last time he faced direct elections was in 2004 when he contested from two Lok Sabha seats in Bihar and won from Nalanda, losing Barh which he had represented a number of times.