NEW DELHI, JANUARY 18 (AGENCIES): In a first, after the two parties struck an alliance in Bihar in end July, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal(United) are all set contest a state assembly poll together.
The BJP and JD(U) will have a pre-poll alliance for the Nagaland assembly polls. JD(U) sources said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be campaigning for the alliance in Nagaland.
JD(U) had contested 50-odd seats in the Gujarat assembly polls held in December, but didn’t have an alliance with the BJP. Kumar didn’t campaign for his party in Gujarat. The JD (U) had walked out of the ‘mahagatbandhan’, or the grand alliance, in Bihar on July 26, by severing ties with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress party, and formed a government in alliance with the BJP.
JD(U) national general secretary K C Tyagi was in Nagaland from January 12 to 14 to make an assessment of his party’s chances. He has also had discussions with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. “Bihar CM Nitish Kumar will be in New Delhi on January 27 and has a meeting scheduled with political leaders from Nagaland,” Tyagi told Business Standard.
The JD(U) had won five seats in 2003, none in 2008 and one seat in the last assembly polls in the state in 2013. The BJP had won one seat in 2013, while the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) won the majority with 38-seats, the Congress party won 8, Nationalist Congress Party 4 and independents 8. The shape of the BJP-JD(U) alliance with any of the regional players is unclear.