JD(U) favours simultaneous polls, authorises Nitish Kumar to finalise party stand on political issues

The JD(U), a BJP ally, on Sunday authorised its president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to finalise the party’s stand on political issues, including the upcoming assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

The party’s national executive at its meeting, attended by its top leaders including Kumar, also favoured simultaneous polls, a proposal being backed strongly by the Modi government.

It, however, called for evolving a consensus through talks with other parties, sources said.

The executive also reiterated the party’s opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill that allows Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan to be eligible for Indian citizenship after a stay of six years.

Religion cannot be a basis for citizenship, it said.

JD(U) leaders sought to play down reports of strain in its ties with the BJP over allotment of seats among the NDA parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and asserted that the ruling alliance will fight the election together and sweep it.

“It will be decided later as to which party will contest how many seats. The NDA will fight the elections together and sweep the state,” its General Secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha told reporters.

Party leaders said the issue of number of seats in Bihar it will fight in the Lok Sabha polls did not come up for discussion. Kumar has been authorised to finalise its stand, they said.

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