Fighting Gujarat Polls To Build Base, Nitish Kumar Won’t Campaign: JD(U)

PATNA: The Janata Dal (United) said it is fighting the Gujarat Assembly elections to build base in the western state and that party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not take part in electioneering.

“A total of 52 candidates of our party have filed nomination papers in Gujarat so far. Our party men in the state wanted that we contest the polls and we honoured their wish,” JD(U) national general secretary RCP Singh told reporters in Patna.

Mr Singh was speaking after the party’s state executive meeting held at the Chief Minister’s official residence 1, Anne Marg, in presence of Mr Kumar.

Asked if the JD(U) was “fighting to lose” in a state where Mr Kumar himself had predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP, Singh said: “We are not fighting to lose. We are fighting to preserve our party’s presence in Gujarat and to build our base there.”

On whether the Bihar chief minister would take part in the campaign for JD(U) candidates in Gujarat, Mr Singh replied in the negative, saying: “How can he be involved when we are not sufficiently prepared in that state.”

About allegations by opposition parties that the JD(U) was trying to cut into anti-BJP votes in Gujarat to help the party with which it shares power in Bihar, Mr Singh quipped: “It means they admit that we can get votes in Gujarat.”

About Bihar, Singh, the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, said, “We are working towards strengthening our organisation at the grassroots level. There are 62,470 polling centres across the state, out of which we have our agents at more than 31,000.”

JD(U)’s state unit president Bashishth Narayan Singh said “We are working in Bihar according to a roadmap. We recently held district-level workers’ meets across the state where we have spread awareness about our campaigns against social evils like liquor consumption, dowry and child marriage.”

“We have asked our workers to highlight efforts made by the Nitish Kumar government to eradicate these social evils,” he said.