BJP non-committal on Kushwaha as CM pick, CP Thakur throws hat in ring
"Every party has a right to air its view. So far, talks on seat-sharing and other issues have not even begun in the NDA," said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
He added: "Till a decision is taken, any party could present some claim... all issues would be sorted out amicably."
Upendra Kushwaha, Union Minister of state for HRD, is a <g data-gr-id="36">friend-turned foe</g> of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Sushil Modi rubbished reports of <g data-gr-id="34">chinks</g> within the NDA on the basis of assertions of RLSP.
Asked that RLSP has asked the BJP to contest on 102 assembly seats leaving 74 and 67 seats for the LJP and RLSP respectively, Sushil Modi refused to make any comment and said these issues would be taken up in NDA meeting.
"Presently, we are busy with elections to 24 seats of Legislative Council from local bodies which would be over by July 15 after which the party leadership would take up issues for September-October Assembly elections," Sushil Modi, most prominent face of BJP in the state said.
The RLSP had won all three Lok Sabha seats <g data-gr-id="35">alloted</g> to it in general elections last year by the NDA.
Meanwhile, senior party leader and former Union Minister CP Thakur on Monday said he was ready to be the Chief Ministerial candidate in the run-up to the Bihar elections. “I am ready to take the responsibility of the Chief Minister’s <g data-gr-id="46">post,</g> if the BJP projects me,” the BJP’s Rajya Sabha member said. Thakur’s statement is likely to put the BJP in <g data-gr-id="45">dilemma</g>.
Ananth Kumar, who is in charge of BJP’s affairs in Bihar, had on June 16 announced that the party would not announce its CM candidate for the assembly elections – slated for September-October – and instead fight the electoral battle in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his early 80s, Thakur belongs to the powerful landed upper caste Bhumihars, who are said to be overwhelmingly backing the BJP in post-Mandal politics in the state.
In fact, speculation in political circles here is that the BJP may change its earlier stand of not announcing its chief ministerial candidate. “The BJP is likely to announce the name of former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi as the chief ministerial candidate soon,” a BJP leader close to Sushil Modi said.