BJP president Amit Shah, who is on a day-long visit to Patna, on Thursday had a brief meeting with JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over breakfast, during which the two leaders are understood to have discussed the prevailing political situation in view of the Lok Sabha polls due next year.
This is Shah's first visit to Bihar after Kumar's JD-U in a dramatic development walked out of the Grand Alliance and re-joined the NDA in 2017. The Grand Alliance included both the Congress and the RJD.
Refusing to interact with the media, Shah drove straight to the state guest house where he met Kumar, in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP's national general secretary in-charge for Bihar Bhupendra Yadav and Rai, over a simple breakfast of "poha", Bihari dishes made of "sattu", fruits, lassi and buttermilk.
During his visit, Shah will also hold meetings with party functionaries and meet Kumar again over dinner at the chief minister's official residence before retiring for the day.
Shah-Kumar meet, which came amid speculations about differences between the allies, is also expected to decide the seat-sharing between the BJP and the JDU for the 2019 general election.
The issue of seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha polls within the NDA in Bihar has become a thorny one in the backdrop of repeated assertions by spokesmen of the JD-U that it was the "elder brother" in the coalition and should get the lion's share of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
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# 10:43 AM: Patna: BJP President Amit Shah meets Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Deputy CM Sushil Modi also present.
Patna: BJP President Amit Shah meets Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Deputy CM Sushil Modi also present pic.twitter.com/byxP745c3A— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2018
# 10:05 AM: BJP President Amit Shah arrives in Patna to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The BJP president's Bihar visit is significant as it may find a way out to the prickly issue of seat-sharing among NDA partners for 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The breaking of bread by Kumar and Shah also indicates deepening of ties between the parties rubbishing all speculation as regards whether the chief minister would again return to the Grand Alliance.
The speculations got a boost after the JD-U chief telephoned RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, following the reports of his bad health and a surgery in a Mumbai hospital last month.
The BJP chief will leave for New Delhi on Saturday morning.