- Nitish Kumar rules out simultaneous State and Parliamentary polls in 2019
- Nitish Kumar: Simultaneous polls "not feasible" in Gujarat, Karnataka
- NDA ally's stand seen to put Mr Kumar on the same side as the Opposition
The idea of simultaneous elections to the states and Parliament has been pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to which the opposition has vehemently objected.
Speaking at an internal conference of his party in Patna, Nitish Kumar said the assembly polls will take place at due time in October-November 2020 and it would not be held next year as is being speculated by a section of the media.
The talk of early polls in Bihar gathered momentum after Nitish Kumar's arch rival Lalu Yadav was convicted in two successive cases of fodder scam. His absence from state politics was seen as a plus for the NDA. Yesterday, RCP Singh, a senior leader of Mr Kumar's party, had hinted that the Janata Dal United will be ready for assembly poll any time after May this year - a comment that had fed the speculation.
Nitish Kumar said even though he is in favour of simultaneous polls, it is not "feasible".
"Do you think we should hold another election in Gujarat where the poll has just taken place, or Karnataka where elections are due in next few months?" Mr Kumar said.
The question of feasibility has been repeatedly raised by opposition parties like the Left, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress. They have also said simultaneous elections will be against federal principles.
PM Modi has repeatedly asked all parties to rise above politics and consider it. He has even raised the in parliament, pointing out that it would cut down the cost of elections in terms of both time and money.
Last week, a parliamentary committee to discuss the idea held its first meeting. The meeting remained inconclusive, with opposition leaders pointing out the hurdles, a senior BJP leader had said.