Ruling party mulled over its dismal performance in the last Assembly elections in two-day meet
On the second day of a two-day State executive committee meeting of Bihar’s ruling party, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), on Sunday, party leader and former party MLA Umesh Kushwaha became new State party president.
Earlier, Basistha Narayan Singh, the incumbent State president of the party, had expressed his inability to continue as State party chief on health grounds.
Umesh Kushwaha was JD(U) MLA from Mahnar in Vaisahli district from 2015 to 2020. He lost the last election, held in October-November 2020, to the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Veena Singh. Mr. Kushwaha comes from the Kairi-Bujurg village of Vaishali district.
The JD(U) had called a two-day State party executive committee meeting to mull over the party’s dismal performance in the last Assembly elections, and also to chalk out ways to strengthen the party in the coming days. The JD(U) won 43 seats in the 243-seat State assembly.
On Saturday, party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while addressing the meeting, had said, “We failed to anticipate who our friends were and on whom we should have placed our trust in the elections.”
“The seat distribution within the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) should have been done five months before the elections. It was not done and as a result, the JD(U) had to pay a heavy price. People voted for us wherever we asked them and there was no confusion from our side, but false propaganda was spread against me and my party,” said Mr. Kumar, adding, “However, forget the election result and get back to work. Rest assured, we will emerge stronger.”
Mr. Kumar asserted that his government would last the full five years and, “There has been no problem in the NDA alliance.” Alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in-charge for Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav, too, said on Sunday that the NDA government under Mr. Kumar would run for five years and “those who have been talking about a break in the NDA and the fall of the government should look into their own party’s affairs”.
On the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mr. Kumar reiterated on Saturday that it would not be implemented in Bihar.
Later, Mr. Kumar blamed the BJP for the delay in Cabinet expansion in the State. “There has never been such delay in Cabinet expansion in the past. I have always expanded my Cabinet shortly after government formation. Expansion can take place when the BJP provides the list [of probable Ministers]. At present, there are 14 Ministers in the Cabinet,” Mr. Kumar said.
On January 7, both the BJP Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and State president Sanjay Jaiswal had met Mr. Kumar at his official residence. “There was no talk on Cabinet expansion at that meeting,” said Mr. Kumar.