Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in what was their first meeting after the Janata Dal (United) president dumped the Opposition INDIA bloc and joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month and reiterated that he will not leave it again.
Following his meeting with PM Modi, Mr Kumar met Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda and is believed to have discussed a host of governance and political issues related to Bihar.
In brief remarks to reporters later, the JD(U) chief recalled his association with the BJP since 1995, before he broke ties in 2013, and said he might have left it twice but will never do it now.
“Never now. We will remain here (in the NDA),” he said.
The meetings came five days ahead of the Nitish Kumar government facing a trust vote in the Assembly on February 12.
Mr Kumar had taken oath with eight ministers, three each from the BJP and the JD(U), and an expansion of the council of ministers is on the cards.
Both parties have to deal with a number of tricky political issues ahead of the Lok Sabha election, including the distribution of parliamentary seats for contesting election among them and their smaller allies.
The BJP and the JD(U) contested 17 seats each in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while the Lok Janshakti Party, now split into two factions, contested on six. Now, the NDA also includes former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.
There is also a view that Mr Kumar wants the Bihar Assembly dissolved so that its election could be held along with the Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May but the BJP, which has much more strength than the JD(U) in the House, might be cold to the idea, sources said.
Asked about the seat-sharing issue, Mr Kumar played it down, saying BJP leaders are aware of it.
Six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar are falling vacant, for which elections will be held on February 27.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)