Kolkata: Even as JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar has insisted his party’s relations with the BJP are as strong as ever despite announcing a day earlier that it would have no truck with the NDA outside of Bihar, at least West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is happy with his decision.
Speaking to media on Monday, Banerjee said, “I have come across a statement from Nitish ji that he won’t form an alliance with the NDA outside Bihar. I would like to congratulate him. (Say) thank you to him.”
The JD(U) decision had come out of its national executive meeting a day ago which had come amid rumours about a rift within the NDA. However, the party has tried to dismiss such speculations by insisting that NDA in the state was “intact”.
Earlier, Nitish had declined to be part of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre in protest against the sole ministerial berth offered to his party which he called a “symbolic representation”.
In the recent general elections, the NDA, comprising BJP, JD(U) and LJP, won 39 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar of which Nitish’s party bagged 16.
In Bihar, the Opposition also seems to be sending out feelers to the JD(U). Recently, RJD leader Rabri Devi had reportedly said that she would have no problem if Nitish joined the grand alliance of the Opposition.
Reports also say that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has gone virtually silent on social media though earlier he used to launch personal attacks on the CM. Since the Lok Sabha poll results, the Bihar Leader of Opposition has not tweeted against Nitish and has restricted himself to greetings and congratulatory messages only, say reports.