Nitish Kumar to BJP: Don’t take me for granted

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sent a clear message to BJP that he and  his party Janata Dal (United ) are keeping options open of drifting away from the National Democratic Alliance.  The message is conveyed through the JD(U) decision to go it alone in Delhi, Jharkhand, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir which are going in for Assembly elections in not too distant future.  JD(U) does not have much of a base in any of these states; in fact, for all its worth, JD(U) is restricted to Bihar. 
  Kumar is cut up with BJP which showed its hegemony after Prime Minister Narendra Modi , in his Presidential style of electioneering, helped it go well across the half way mark of 542 Lok Sabha seats. Winning 303 on its own, the BJP did not need any of its partners in the NDA, but accommodated them in the Cabinet formation with not so attractive portfolios . In that process, JD(U) was also offered a berth, which Kumar declined it, saying the offer was only symbolic. Apparently, he was not happy with a single berth in the Cabinet after winning 16 seats in Bihar. 
At its executive committee meeting in Patna, June 9, 2019 , the JD(U) formally decided it would fight Assembly elections outside Bihar on its own. 
Not that it matters to BJP , at this point of time, but with such an overwhelming and its expanding ambitions, the NDA partners do not seem to have much of political future. They would continue to play cheer leaders to Modi, retaining non-descript  berth or two in the Cabinet . The only exception is Food Processing Ministry given to Shiromani Akali Dal , filled by the Badal daughter-in-law, Harsimrat Kaur Badal.   JD(U) is not the only NDA partner in disquiet. Shiv Sena, too was not too happy with the portfolio of Heavy Industry, given to Arvind Sawant. The ministry does not have much of a job, excepting : preside over a few dated PSUs.   But , given the political state of play, the allies do not have much of a choice, but to stay put and enjoy the ministerial berth for each. JD(U) can have the satisfaction of some ‘ self respect’.   

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