Nitish Kumar as JD-U chief set to expand ‘Janata Parivar’

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was on Sunday unanimously elected president of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) at the party’s national executive meet here and was expected to strengthen the ‘Janata Parivar’, an official said.

Former chief of the party Sharad Yadav, who headed the organisation for over 10 years and stepped down on April 4, proposed Nitish Kumar’s name that was seconded by senior party leader K.C. Tyagi and others.

“I think with Nitish Kumar at the helm, the party would grow further,” Yadav said.

The JD-U is planning to reach out to “like minded parties and leaders and expand the “janata parivar”, party spokesman Tyagi told IANS after the meeting.

“The present government has failed to meet people’s expectations. Once again the same political uncertainty is looming as was there before the 2014 elections. Now there is a need for a national political party to emerge,” Tyagi told IANS.

“So we feel that all like-minded parties should gradually come on a single platform. To this effect, we are already in talks with Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Babulal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). In future, we would be reaching out to more parties,” he added.

Asked whether it was a precursor to a grand alliance of sorts of the Centre-Left parties before the 2019 general election, Tyagi said there are “many more smaller battles” before the big one.

“We would be focussing on the Uttar Pradesh state elections next year. Our endeavour would be to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state,” he said.

On the no-love-lost between the JD-U and the BJP after 17 years of coalition, Tyagi said that it was a “wise decision” to part ways with the BJP.

Dismissing speculations whether it would be too much for the Bihar chief minister to effectively run the organisation and the state government simultaneously, Tyagi said there are too many precedents when leaders effectively headed the party as also the government.

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