Some of the JD(U) leaders have also been uncomfortable with Mr Shah’s stand on the National Register of Citizens.
Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar opting out of the newly formed Modi Cabinet has raised the political temperature in Bihar.
Though Mr Kumar has categorically stated that “JD(U) is part of the NDA and will continue to work together”, political analysts claim that the decision may cause some uneasiness among the two allies ahead of the Bihar Assembly election, which is due in 2020.
On his return to Patna on Friday after attending Prime Minister’s oath ceremony, Mr Kumar said, “It was the people’s victory and those who are claiming that votes were given in the name of somebody are disillusioned.”
He also ruled out joining the Modi Cabinet just for the sake of “symbolic representation” in the NDA. Talking to reporters in Patna Mr Kumar said, “When (Bharatiya Janata Party president) Amit Shah called me this morning, I told him that I have already conveyed my message to Bhupendra Yadav”.
Mr Kumar further clarified, “Our party’s alliance is for the development of the state, and there is no need for any kind of symbolic representation in the Cabinet.”
The JD(U) being the third largest NDA ally with 16 seats was eyeing three ministerial berths but the BJP offered only one Cabinet post as a “symbolic representation”.
Political analysts are of the opinion that Mr Kumar opting out of the Modi Cabinet at the last hour could be an indication that all is not well in the NDA.
On earlier occasions, the JD(U), which returned to the NDA fold in July 2017, has also been openly opposing the BJP’s stand on sensitive issues such as the Ram temple, uniform civil code and Article 370.
Mr Kumar, who is also the national president of JD(U), has repeatedly said that issues like Ram temple and triple talaq should be resolved through negotiations. Some of the JD(U) leaders have also been uncomfortable with Mr Shah’s stand on the National Register of Citizens.