Ready for mid-term assembly polls
Picking up the gauntlet thrown by the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said he was ready for mid-term assembly polls in his state along with Uttar Pradesh, provided NDA MPs from both states too resigned and contested again. “Ek saath Bihar-Uttar Pradesh mein chunaav kara lein, hum taiyaar hain (we are ready for simultaneous elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh),” the Chief Minister said. Nitish said: “If you (BJP) have the courage, then hold simultaneous polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. I don’t have any problem; I am ready for it — tomorrow if you want it.”
However, Nitish said, there was one condition — all members of Parliament belonging to the National Democratic Alliance from both states should also resign from their respective Lok Sabha seats and fight simultaneous by-elections for these constituencies. While Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha seats, Bihar has 40. His statements came a day after Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya challenged Nitish Kumar to hold fresh assembly polls by dissolving the Bihar assembly if he had “faith in the developmental works done by his government”.
The Chief Minister said the opposition parties were waiting for the BJP to come out with a consensus candidate’s name for the July 17 presidential election. He said if no consensus candidate emerged, it was the opposition’s duty to put up its own candidate for the top elected post in the country. “The opposition will not take much time to decide its presidential candidate, but the Centre should take the initiative in this regard,” he said.