With the fallout of BJP and its NDA ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar has come under the spotlight. When asked by reporters on Monday, about what does it spell for the NDA in Bihar, he said that it was Sena's business and that it did not matter to them (JD (U)). The JD(U)-BJP alliance currently holds power in the Bihar assembly and is set to contest the state elections jointly in 2020.
Earlier on October 30, JD(U) which had refused to join the Modi government in June had pushed for a "proportionate representation" for the party in the Union Cabinet. Kumar had stated the mandate of the 2015 Bihar Assembly poll was "against" the BJP, but Kumar conceded to it the post of deputy chief minister besides sharing ministerial berths. The JD(U) holds 70 seats, while the BJP holds 54 seats in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly.
Blaming the Sena for fracturing the Mahayuti alliance, BJP announced that it would not form the next government in the state on Sunday, after meeting the governor. Sena, being the second-largest part was then invited to form the government - proving its ability by Monday evening- 7:30 PM. Both NCP and Congress are now in a huddle, talking with their MLAs discussing a possible alliance with the saffron party. Both party chiefs will head a core committee meeting in Delhi, while Sena MP Sanjay Raut is set to meet Sonia Gandhi in Delhi to offer alliance terms. BJP inspite of stating its inability to form the next govt, too is set to hold a core group meeting headed by Devendra Fadnavis. The major tiff between the two ideologically similar parties BJP and Shiv Sena is for the 50-50 formula and sharing the CM post for 2.5 years each. BJP has refused to both, with the BJP willing to give Shiv Sena 13 cabinet portfolios and keeping 26 portfolios for itself.
The saffron alliance swept Maharashtra on October 24, winning a combined tally of 161 (BJP- 105, Sena -56), but is yet to put its majority to use. Meanwhile, the 'Maha- Agadhi' alliance (NCP-Congress) bagged 98 seats in total. The halfway mark is 145.