Aide scotches speculation about Nitish’s perceived unhappiness over INDIA meet

Sanjay Kumar Jha, Bihar\’s Minister of Water Resources and a prominent figure in the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), closely associated with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, addressed speculations on Friday concerning Kumar\’s perceived dissatisfaction with the recent proceedings of the India National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) meeting in New Delhi. Jha explicitly affirmed that the JD(U) harbors no objections to the potential nomination of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge as the prime ministerial candidate for the opposition alliance.

In discussions with the media, Jha underscored that Chief Minister Kumar expressed no discontent with the developments during the INDIA bloc meeting. He highlighted ongoing deliberations on various issues pertaining to INDIA\’s strategy for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, including the Chief Minister\’s preference for resolving seat-sharing among coalition partners by the end of January. Jha reassured that the JD(U) has no reservations about Kharge being put forth as the prime ministerial face of the INDIA bloc.

Jha\’s statement followed reported discussions between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, addressing concerns about Kumar\’s alleged dissatisfaction. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav also dismissed speculations about Kumar\’s discontent, dismissing them as mere rumors. He expressed satisfaction with the INDIA developments, aligning his stance with Nitish Kumar.

During the INDIA bloc meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee proposed Kharge as the potential prime ministerial candidate or convenor, garnering support from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray. Kumar and Yadav left the meeting early, fueling speculation about Kumar\’s discontent. Rumors persisted, even as some JD(U) leaders openly expressed dissatisfaction with Kharge\’s candidacy.

JD(U) Member of Parliament Gopal Mandal overtly endorsed Kumar as a candidate and criticized Kharge, contending that the public is not acquainted with him. Congress leader Ajeet Kumar urged Chief Minister Kumar to take action against Mandal and others plotting against the INDIA bloc, emphasizing that the JD(U) would assess its true support if it opted to contest the Lok Sabha polls independently.

In an attempt to alleviate tensions, Jha clarified that the JD(U) stands ready to support any candidate proposed by the INDIA constituents for the prime ministerial position. He suggested awaiting the Congress\’s stance on Kharge\’s candidacy and assured that discussions on seat-sharing would be concluded by the end of January.

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