Bihar: NDA partners to meet on Nov 15 to declare Nitish Kumar as legislature party leader

Even as Nitish, who was declared the ruling coalition's CM candidate much before the election process had started, himself expressed his “unwillingness” to continue citing the steep slide in JD(U)’s tally, senior BJP leaders have persuaded him to continue as CM.

A joint meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners in Bihar will be held on Sunday to finalise details pertaining to the next government formation, including electing the leader of the legislature party.

“The meeting will start at 12:30 pm on Sunday, November 15 where all further decisions will be taken,” JD(U) chief and three-time CM Nitish Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

According to PTI, Nitish would be declared as the leader of the NDA legislature party on November 15. This was decided at an “informal” meeting of the NDA leaders from four constituent parties –– JD(U), BJP, HAM(S) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) –– at Nitish’s residence on Friday.

In the House of 243, the NDA scraped past the majority mark of 122 seats with the BJP emerging as the senior partner with 74 seats. While the JD(U) ended up winning only 43, its allies VIP and HAM(S) bagged four seats each in the nail-biting election in which NDA secured a total of 125 seats.

The Indian Express has learnt that Nitish, who was declared the ruling coalition’s CM candidate much before the election process had started, has expressed his “unwillingness” to continue citing the steep slide in JD(U)’s tally. However, senior BJP leaders have persuaded him to continue as CM and gave him an assurance that he had “full independence as before” in running the government.

The JD(U)’s tally of 43 this time, down from 71, is its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls.

Sources said Nitish was “very upset” at the manner in which Chirag Paswan and his LJP had hurt the JD(U). A senior BJP leader said: “He was deeply disturbed and very upset that Chirag had spoiled JD(U)’s chances in at least 25-30 seats. We persuaded him to remain the CM even though BJP is now a senior partner in the alliance.”

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