Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his wishes to Bihar Chief Minister and BJP ally Nitish Kumar on his 69th birthday. On his birthday, Nitish Kumar is set to launch a campaign for the assembly election to be held later this year.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi hailed Nitish for being at the forefront of furthering Bihar's development and noted his passion for social development.
Greetings to Bihar’s Chief Minister and my friend, Shri @NitishKumar Ji. A popular leader who has risen from the grassroots, he’s been at the forefront of furthering Bihar’s development. His passion towards social empowerment is noteworthy. Praying for his long and healthy life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2020
The NDA in Bihar comprises the JDU, BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the coalition won 39 out of the 40 seats in the state. The assembly polls, to be held by November are of vital importance for the coalition, which has witnessed back-to-back poll drubbings in Delhi and Jharkhand, besides an unexpected setback in Maharashtra.
With a total of 243 seats in Bihar assembly, the state goes to polls in November. While the ruling alliance of JD(U) and BJP have named Nitish Kumar Chief Ministerial candidate, the Opposition alliance - the Mahagathbandhan - appears to still be directionless after the massive poll drubbing in the general elections in which it failed to open its account.
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. The JD(U) has, however, been facing internal strife on account of some of its best-known leaders leaving the party citing disagreements with CM Nitish Kumar, such as Prashant Kishor and Pavan Varma.
Last week, BJP national president JP Nadda called on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his counterpart in the JD(U), and is understood to have discussed the state polls due later this year, among other things.
Accompanied by national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, Nadda met the chief minister at his official residence.