- In 2014, BJP won 31 out of 40 parliamentary seats in Bihar
- Sushil Modi has earlier been Nitish Kumar's deputy and finance minister
- Nitish Kumar walked out of NDA alliance in 2013
In a conversation with NDTV after beginning his third stint as Nitish Kumar's deputy in the government, Mr Modi brushed aside accusations that his party had manipulated the outcome, claimed that Nitish Kumar had gauged the mood of his legislators about a fortnight earlier and asserted that the NDA would, together with Nitish Kumar's party, sweep the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar.
"We will win 40 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar with the icon of Narendra Modi and development icon of Nitish Kumar (sic)," he told NDTV, careful about balancing the credit - and responsibility - between the two leaders who in the last two elections had bitterly competed to market their models of development. PM Modi's Gujarat versus Nitish Kumar's track record in Bihar.
In 2014, the BJP did manage a stellar performance when it netted 31 of the 40 parliamentary seats. It had won in 172 of the 243 assembly segments. The Congress, the Rashtriya Janata and the Janata Dal United learnt their lesson well and came together to form the grand alliance ahead of the 2015 assembly election. Nitish Kumar was the face of the campaign and projected as the alliance's presumptive chief minister. The grand alliance swept the assembly election with a combined tally of 178.
Holding Lalu Yadav's refusal to come clean on the corruption allegations for the grand alliance being in tatters, Mr Modi said the party had surveyed BJP legislators who unanimously supported the party joining the alliance. Claiming that JD U legislators too wanted to join the NDA, Mr Modi said Nitish Kumar had gauged the mood in his party at the meeting of lawmakers on 11 July. Each and every MLA wanted this alliance, he added.