Vacate CM’s chair: BJP leader tells Nitish

This is for the first time that the saffron camp has asked Nitish to vacate the Chief Minister’s chair. PTI Photo

In what could be perceived as a major political development which may have wide ramifications within the NDA, a senior BJP leader, and former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan has suggested that Nitish Kumar should quit as Bihar Chief Minister.

“Nitish has already served as Bihar CM for around 15 years. He should now hand over the reins of the State to Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and himself shift to Centre to assist Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Paswan, who is a former MP from Nawada and had earlier served as Union Minister in Vajpayee regime.

The senior BJP leader also hastened to add that he was not questioning the leadership of Nitish “but the fact is that in the ensuing Bihar Assembly elections, one will get votes only in the name of Narendra Modi. So Nitish should pave way for the BJP so that we can carry forward several incomplete works before the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls.”

The JD (U) has taken umbrage over “uncalled for statements from the BJP leader” and has asked the party to clarify whether it’s an individual leader’s demand or it reflects the BJP’s stand.

“We don’t need a certificate from Sanjay Paswan. Nitishji is an elected Chief Minister and a highly popular leader. The electorate had decisively voted for him during 2015 Assembly polls. Has the BJP forgotten what kind of mandate it got during 2015 Assembly polls (when the BJP had to bite the dust) even when Modi aggressively campaigned for it,” said JD (U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh.   

This is the fourth occasion in the last four months when the BJP and the JD (U) are at loggerheads. It all started when the JD (U) refused to join Narendra Modi ministry. Later, the JD (U) and BJP were not on the same page over Triple Talaq and abrogation of Article 370.

But this is for the first time that the saffron camp has asked Nitish to vacate the Chief Minister’s chair so that a BJP leader could don the mantle.   

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