Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing at a function for the inauguration of developmental schemes of Department of Energy in Patna on Thursday. PTI Photo (PTI5_11_2017_000111A)

The Janata Dal (United) on Saturday passed a resolution to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) during the party’s national executive meeting chaired by leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Party general secretary K C Tyagi confirmed that JD(U) under Nitish will become part of the NDA.

At a national executive committee meeting at the president and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s official residence, the party formally accepted the invitation to join BJP-led NDA coalition. BJP Chief Amit Shah had invited him to join the ruling NDA.

The JD(U) now has two factions: one led by Nitish Kumar and the other by senior party leader and former party president Sharad Yadav.

Meanwhile, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav holding a ‘Jan Adalat’ meeting in Patna today as well. He arrived in Patna earlier today and was received by slogans in support of his faction and against Kumar. Yadav claims his faction of the party is the genuine unit. The rift between Kumar and Yadav emerged after the latter’s decision to ally with the state BJP, which Yadav had contested.

“Sharad Yadav is invited for the JD(U) national executive meet and he can sort out differences, but he shouldn’t attend Lalu Yadav’s programme. We will lose our faith in him if he does so. He is one of the founders of the party, therefore, he can put forward his views in the meeting”, said JD(U) leader KC Tyagi.

Ahead of the national executive committee meeting of JD(U), the two factions of the party put up striking publicity material in Patna, leading up to a poster war in the city. Both factions claim to be the ‘read JD(U)’.

The poster put up by Sharad Yadav’s faction showcased him with “Jan Adalat ka Faisla – Mahagathbandhan jari hai (decision of the people’s court – the grand alliance continues)” written on it. The other has Nitish with party leaders – state JD(U) chief Basistha Narayan Singh, RCP Singh and others. “Nitish Kumar hi zindabad (hail only Nitish Kumar),” said the poster.
The BJP-led by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi have had a trailblazing run in electoral politics in the last three years. It has faced losses in only three major states where it is a prominent player – Delhi, Bihar, and Punjab. Now with Bihar done and dusted, NDA can hope for a clean sweep in 2019.

Nitish’s return to the NDA fold has bolstered its prospects in the 2019 general elections and Nitish might play a bigger role in that process.

After joining the NDA, JD(U) will be offered two berths in central council of ministers – one of cabinet rank and the other of the minister of state. However, it will take time and it might delay cabinet reshuffle also as the party will try to replace Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar with new members in the Rajya Sabha.

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