Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar on Friday departed for Delhi to attend the national executive meeting of the party, scheduled for Saturday.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (PTI Photo)

“This is an important meeting as it was not held for a long time. It is a routine exercise, primarily aimed at strengthening and expanding the organisation,” party general secretary KC Tyagi said.

A senior party leader said that Kumar will also meet party MPs both from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha before the national executive meeting.

All MPs and ministers, apart from executive members, general secretaries, secretaries and state presidents, will be present at the meeting, during which various decisions taken by the party in the recent past, its impact, the Lok Sabha election performance and the way ahead for the Assembly election scheduled next year will be discussed.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the JD-U won 12 of the 16 seats it contested in Bihar. Furthermore, the party has also got representation in the Union cabinet as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government. JD-U is one of the key alliance partners for the BJP.

The meeting is being held just a few days after the Patna high court set aside the Bihar government’s decision to increase reservation for the Other Backward Classes, Extremely Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes based on the first ever caste survey in the state.

Nitish Kumar has been demanding a nationwide caste-based census, but the BJP has not yet agreed on it and instead asked him to carry out the exercise at the state level. Now with the HC setting it aside, the JD-U national executive may take a call on further steps in that direction.

The party’s old demand from the Centre for a special category status to Bihar may also come up in the meeting, as Nitish Kumar is known to be a tough bargainer.

After taking over as the party’s national president from Lalan Singh at the previous national executive meeting in December last year, one of the key decisions Kumar took was to snap ties with the ‘grand alliance’ in Bihar (with the Rashtriya Janata Dal) and get back into the BJP-led NDA.