JD(U) sources said that while Mr Kumar was trying to work out a broad coalition of anti-Modi forces ahead of the 2019 general elections.
New Delhi: JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar will not campaign for the SP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh despite a request from Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to do so.
The Bihar chief minister was apparently miffed at his party being denied “even five seats” in the coalition following which the JD(U) decided not to contest the polls at all.
Meanwhile, the bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Kumar continued with the PM wishing him on his 66th birthday on Wednesday.
JD(U) sources said that Mr Kumar was not happy at the treatment meted out to his party by the SP which behaved like the “big brother”, while alliance talks were on.
The Congress wanted Mr Kumar, who has a strong support base among the Kurmis, to help it in eastern UP which goes to the polls in the last two phases. It has already roped in RJD chief Lalu Prasad, an alliance partner in Bihar, to campaign in UP.
Constituting about 9 per cent of Uttar Pradesh’s population, the Kurmis make up 24 per cent of the state’s other backward classes population and dominate the state’s eastern part which goes to the polls on March 4 and March 8.
JD(U) sources said that while Mr Kumar was trying to work out a broad coalition of anti-Modi forces ahead of the 2019 general elections, he would not be campaigning for the alliance in UP.
The party has in fact expelled former JD(U) UP unit’s president Suresh Niranjan Bhaiyya for his statement that the party supported the SP-Congress alliance candidates.