JD (U) throws hat in ring for West Bengal assembly polls | India News
PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) said on Thursday that he was eager to contest a substantial number of seats in the West Bengal assembly elections, in which his ally BJP has a lot at stake.
JD (U) National Secretary General Ghulam Rasool Baliyavi said that the party’s unit in West Bengal wants to contest at least 75 seats and that the number could increase, subject to approval from the leadership.
Elections for the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely to be held in a few months and the BJP, which performed surprisingly in the state in last year’s Lok Sabha polls, seeks to overthrow the ruling Trinamool Congress, led by the chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“We have contested assembly elections in West Bengal in the past. We would like to do so this time as well. Our party has carried out massive membership drives in districts such as Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia and Bankura,” said Baliyavi.
He said the party was hoping to do well in places where there is a high percentage of people from Bihar, and claimed that the good governance of Nitish Kumar has created a stir in the neighboring state.
The JD (U) has maintained that its alliance with the BJP was limited to Bihar. The party has fought in states like Karnataka and Gujarat without a link to the BJP, which is in power. In Arunachal Pradesh, governed by the BJP, the JD (U) is the main opposition party.
Similarly, in Jharkhand, where BJP lost power last year, the JD (U) had contested separately.
However, the JD (U) faced the Delhi assembly polls earlier this year in alliance with the BJP.
Responding to a question, Baliyavi said: “I am of the opinion that the BJP should think about bringing Nitish Kumar. If it chooses otherwise, then each party has the right to expand its own base.”