Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday addressed a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act public rally in the Vaishali region of Bihar. During his address at Vaishali, Shah cleared the air on all the anticipation over the NDA's Chief Ministerial candidate for the assembly elections in Bihar that are scheduled to be held later this year.
Shah put all speculation to rest and announced that the 2020 Bihar Assembly Elections will be fought under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. This comes even as the RJD has been making repeated overtures (accompanied by the usual attacks) that Nitish should return to the Mahagathbandhan and turn his back on the BJP.
However, at the Vaishali pro-CAA rally Amiut Shah said, "I want to end all rumors by declaring here in the open, the next assembly elections in Bihar will be fought under the leadership of Nitish Kumar."
Earlier in the day, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav had accused Home Minister Shah of visiting Bihar to "spew venom" and "sow hatred." He went on to challenge Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to tell Shah that NPR will not be implemented in the state.
"I challenge Nitish Kumar to tell Amit Shah that he will not implement NPR in Bihar. Amit Shah has said that NPR is the first step of NRC. Nitish Kumar should not make a fool out of the public. He should call a special session of the assembly and pass a resolution against NPR. I will create awareness among the people and expose the BJP government," said Tejashwi Yadav, after Nitish Kumar said in the assembly that NRC would not be imposed in the state.
With a total of 243 seats in Bihar assembly, the state is scheduled to go to polls later this year. While the ruling alliance of JD(U) and BJP have had the odd tussle, especially with JD(U)'s Prashant Kishor insisting that the party must contest more seats than BJP and especially given Nitish Kumar's walkout from the Modi cabinet owing to not being given sufficient portfolios, the Opposition alliance - the Mahagathbandhan - appears to be directionless after the massive poll drubbing in the 2019 general elections.
Currently, the JD(U) holds 69 seats while the BJP holds 54 seats in the assembly. The Opposition consisting of RJD, Congress, and others, hold 105 seats with the RJD being the biggest party in the state. The JD(U)-RJD Mahagathbandhan had comprehensively defeated the BJP in the 2015 polls, following which Nitish remained CM. However, the parties split, even as RJD leaders came to be embroiled in more and more controversies. Nitish formed a government with his old ally BJP instead, with Sushil Modi as his Deputy CM.