Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of all JD(U) MLAs and MPs
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of all MLAs and MPs of his party Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday, a telltale move that indicates his anger and growing friction with alliance partner BJP may come to a head.
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Mr Kumar wants the Bihar assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha removed. The Chief Minister had lost his temper more than once at Mr Sinha, who Mr Kumar has accused of openly violating the Constitution by raising questions against his government.
Mr Kumar is upset after his party JD(U) was offered only a single berth in the Narendra Modi government in June 2019. He had hit back by including eight of his party colleagues in Bihar's expanded cabinet and left one vacant for the BJP.
The JD(U) chief is against holding state and national elections simultaneously. The idea of simultaneous elections to the states and parliament was pitched by PM Modi, to which the opposition has vehemently objected. This was one of the issues where the JD(U) found common ground with the opposition.
Mr Kumar wants a larger say in selecting BJP ministers in his cabinet, sources have said. This move would, however, undermine Home Minister Amit Shah's perceived grip on Bihar through the selection of ministers seen as close to him, sources said. For example, the BJP's Sushil Modi, who had been Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister for much of Mr Kumar's years in power, was moved out of Bihar by the party leadership.
Mr Kumar is also upset with the alliance partner over the BJP-led central government's offer of token representation to allies as Union Ministers. Former Union Minister RCP Singh, who left the JD(U) yesterday, had apparently dealt directly with the BJP leadership, bypassing Mr Kumar, to become Union Minister. "What is the need to join the Union Cabinet? The Chief Minister had decided in 2019 we won't be part of the Union Cabinet," JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh said on Sunday.