In jolt to opposition, NCP skips crucial meet

Nitish Kumar and Amit Shah

Nitish Kumar and Amit Shah

The JD (U) could be offered two ministerial berths in the Centre - one of cabinet rank and the other as minister of state, party sources said. This is a historic moment for Bihar when the same alliance is at the helm of affairs in the state and at the Centre.

Though the Nitish Kumar-led JDU has been excluded from the list following its realignment with BJP, Congress has signalled a solidarity message by extending invitation to dissenting JDU leader Sharad Yadav, even though he will be in the middle of a Bihar tour on Friday. Speaking about Yadav and his disagreements over Kumar's decision to join the NDA, Kumar, who was in New Delhi on Friday, said that the decision was a joint one taken by his party and Yadav was free to hold any opinion he wanted to. Azad said the parties were told to take independent decisions on joining the rally.

The party, which returned to power in May 2013 after a decade in the opposition, will contest the assembly election on the basis of its performance over the last four years, including various welfare schemes for the people across the state, he said.

When asked if opposition parties are going to attend the rally called by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on 27 August in Patna, Azad said that there was a discussion on it and all the opposition leaders who are keen on attending it will be doing so. A leader close to Nitish told News 18 that PM Modi wanted to "harness the potential of Nitish Kumar at the national level". The reason behind NCP not being a part of the Opposition meeting is reportedly the recent Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls. "All the party legislators, leaders, who are close to the government for personal benefit are with Nitish Kumar, but leaders and workers close to the people are with me", Yadav said in Bihar's Madhepura district on the last day of his three-day Samvad Yatra to meet people and interact with them.

JD (U) MP Ali Anwar's presence gave a feeling that the Bihar ruling party is on the verge of a split. "Any party would have done the same", said a senior NCP leader.

Here is Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for national unity on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement to eradicate poverty, corruption, illiteracy, casteism etc whereas, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, speaking after the current Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha, repeats her party's familiar propaganda line against the Modi Government about the BJP undermining "secular, democratic and liberal values".