Nitish downplays loss

Dismissing rumours of rift within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the defeat of a Janata Dal-United (JD-U) candidate in the Maharajganj by-election, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Thursday that the loss would have no adverse impact on the alliance.

He also downplayed his party’s crushing defeat in the by-poll and criticised Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for acting in a pompous manner after retaining the seat.

“Our alliance is intact. Members of the coalition worked together in the Maharajganj by-election,” Kumar told reporters at Patna Airport, on return from Delhi.
“NDA workers laboured hard in the Maharajganj by-poll,” he said.

The defeated JD-U candidate in Maharajganj P K Shahi said on Wednesday that there was lack of enthusiasm among NDA workers, besides lack of poll management which led to his defeat.

This fuelled rumours that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers did not work hard for the victory of Shahi, due to JD-U opposition to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Nitish Kumar is the chairman of the NDA in Bihar and leader of the JD-U. Minister Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP is the convener.

Kumar, criticising the RJD for acting in a pompous manner after retaining the seat, said: “This is not the defeat of the JD-U in the Maharajganj elections. This was not our seat. This seat belonged to the RJD and it won. You can assess the mood and temperament of the RJD by the manner in which they were behaving after their victory,” he said.

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