New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): After the BJP's ouster from the Bihar government following the unexpected turn of events, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday exuded confidence in BJP's record-breaking victory in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections saying that the party is aiming to win 35 seats in Bihar.
"The way popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is increasing continuously in the country, it is evident that people want him to win again. In 2019, we increased 314 from 282, I think this time this journey will end by going beyond 350. In Bihar, we have set a target of 35 seats. BJP will perform 100 per cent. History has been repeated before and this time it will be repeated again. It will be a new record this time," said Shekhawat.
He also stressed that nobody could have predicted BJP's performance in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, but the party stood its ground in these regions as well.
His remarks came after a Bihar BJP Core Committee meeting was conducted at party headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the party's national president JP Nadda.
The meeting came just days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) parted ways with the National Democratic Alliance.
"The meeting of Bihar Core Committee was held today in the presence of President JP Nadda ji and Union Home Minister Amit Shah ji. There has been a very thorough and detailed discussion on all the issues. It is well known that this coalition betrays the people and this is a backdoor alliance which is trying to re-establish Lalu Raj," he added.
Jaiswal said the BJP will set the record by winning more than 35 seats in Bihar in the 2024 general elections.
There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar out of which 17 are presently held by the BJP while JD(U) has 16 seats. Further, Lok Janshakti Party has six seats and Congress has one seat.
Earlier on Tuesday, a total of 31 ministers were inducted into the Bihar cabinet from various parties that are part of the Mahagathbandhan or the Grand Alliance in the state. The new Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhavan here.
The RJD got 16 ministerial berths and the Janata Dal (United) 11. Two legislators from the Congress, one from Jitin Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha and the lone Independent MLA, Sumit Kumar Singh, also took oath as cabinet ministers.
From RJD, Deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav's brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Samir Kumar Mahaseth, Chandrashekhar, Kumar Sarvajeet, Lalit Yadav, Surendra Prasad Yadav, Ramanand Yadav, Jitendra Kumar Rai, Anita Devi and Sudhakar Singh and Alok Mehta took oath.
Congress legislators Afaque Alam and Murari Lal Gautam were inducted into the cabinet as ministers, while Hindustani Awam Morcha's Santosh Suman was also sworn in.
The Bihar cabinet can have up to 36 ministers, including the Chief Minister. Some ministerial berths will be kept vacant for future cabinet expansion, sources said.
Nitish Kumar had broken away from the BJP and formed a government with the RJD and other parties earlier this month. The Chief Minister and his deputy - RJD's Tejashwi Yadav - took oath on August 10.
The Bihar Grand Alliance has a combined strength of 163. Its effective strength climbed to 164 after Independent MLA Sumit Kumar Singh extended its support to Nitish Kumar. The new government is likely to prove a majority in the Bihar assembly on August 24.
The 2020 Assembly polls in Bihar were a tight one with the National Democratic Alliance winning 125 seats, with BJP winning 74 of these, the Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar 43, the Vikassheel Insaan Party 4 and the Hindustan Awaam Party (Secular) 4. This put the NDA just above the requisite 122-majority mark needed to form the government.
The RJD and its allies, on the other hand, had won 110 seats. The RJD finished as the single-largest party with 75 seats, while Congress won a mere 19 seats. Of the 29 seats the Left parties had contested, they won 16, with the CPI (ML-Liberation) winning 12 of them. Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM had won five seats in the Seemanchal region of the state. Four of its MLAs have switched to the RJD. (ANI)