No rift within NDA, we will return to power in Bihar in 2020 with over 200 seats: Nitish

PATNA, Sept 20: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday categorically dismissed any rift within the alliance and predicted that the NDA will win more than 200 seats in the next year Assembly election.
He further asserted that those trying to create a fissure between his JD(U) and alliance partner BJP will be in trouble.
Addressing the state council meeting of the Janata Dal (United), of which he is the national president, Kumar lashed out at his detractors charging them with “lacking political acumen and trying to gain publicity by launching personal attacks on me..many of them later privately confiding that they did so because it was their USP”.
“I would advise my party spokesmen, do not get drawn into all this. Express the party position on issues firmly but avoid reacting to every slanderous remark that may be made against me, Kumar said.
“Try to recall the 2010 assembly poll days. Skeptics were doubting that we will get majority. We ended up winning 206 out of 243 seats. Rest assured we will cross 200 next year, Kumar said evoking applause.
NDA had won 39 out of a total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar recently.
The state will see poll by the end of 2020.
“There are many who think there is ghachpach (something
amiss) in our alliance. It is not so. Those trying to do ghachpach are going to be in trouble (bura haal hone waala hai), let me assure you, Kumar added. The JD(U) national presidents statement assumes significance in the backdrop of recent statements by some BJP leaders who had favoured the party pressing for having its own Chief Minister after the assembly polls next year.
Kumar has been at the helm since 2005 when the JD(U)-BJP combine ousted Lalu Prasads RJD, which had ruled the state for more than a decade.
In 2013, Kumar snapped ties with the BJP and went on to form the Grand Alliance with Prasad, his arch rival, and the Congress, which won the 2015 assembly polls handsomely. He returned to the NDA in 2017.
The BJP-led coalition in Bihar now includes Ram Vilas Paswans LJP.
Kumar also took a veiled dig at the RJD and its leader Tejashwi Yadav, mentioning neither by name. Some RJD veterans like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tiwary had, after the party drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls this year, begun to speak in favour of a fresh tie-up with Kumar.
The proposal, however, met with outright rejection by Tejashwi Yadav, who is Prasads younger son and was Kumars deputy in the short-lived Grand Alliance government.
Notably, money laundering cases lodged against Tejashwi and the RJDs stout refusal to heed demands for his resignation had led Kumar to abruptly walk out of the grand alliance. (PTI)
“Some of their leaders say let us have some sort of understanding. Another says, no it is not needed. Who is even thinking of them”, Kumar said berating the opposition party which was drubbed in 2010 but made a dramatic comeback five years later when it contested the assembly polls in alliance with his JD(U).
“It has been my philosophy and that of JD(U), which has its roots in the Samata Party floated under the leadership of late George Fernandes believe in work. All through the years we have been in power we have not neglected any social segment. And we have been steadfast in our zero tolerance for crime, corruption and communalism, Kumar said.
And do not worry if we get any negative publicity in the media. We have the support of millions of people who may not be vocal in expressing their opinions in public but who decisively vote in our favour, he added. Earlier, at the function, veteran leader Vashistha Narayan Singh was declared elected as the state unit president for his third consecutive term. The state council meeting was attended by the JD(U)s top office bearers. (PTI)