New Delhi: Rabri Devi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and wife of party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, on Tuesday said that she has no objection if Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wants to join the Grand Alliance again. Rabri’s statement comes amid speculations of rift between the Janata Dal United’s (JD-U) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over ministerial berth.
“If Nitish Kumar joins the Grand Alliance again, we have no objection to it,” Rabri Devi told reporters. However, she made it clear that any decision on this will be taken by top leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Earlier, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, a former Union Minister, has extended an olive branch to Nitish, saying non-BJP parties including the JD(U) should join forces against the BJP and that his party is “not allergic” to anyone.
“All non-BJP parties, whether Nitish or a, b or c should come together on a single platform to provide a national alternative. We are not allergic to any particular party or leader,” Singh had stated yesterday when asked about Kumar’s acceptability in the Mahagathbandhan.
He added,”It would be even better if all small parties merge together and become a single entity to take on the humongous challenge posed by the BJP.”
Meanwhile, Union Minister and LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan, at whose Iftar party Nitish shared space with BJP leaders like Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, maintained that the “NDA is intact”.
A day before, he had asserted,” All is well in the NDA in Bihar and Nitish Kumar is our leader.” LJP is a constituent of the 3-party NDA bloc in the state apart from the JD(U) and the BJP.
Earlier on Sunday, Nitish had inducted eight JD(U) legislators and offered just one seat to the alliance partner, BJ(P). Sushil Kumar said that the party will decide about the offered seat in future.
On May 30, hours before the swearing-in ceremony of Modi government, JD(U) decided not to be a part of the Cabinet, stating it would not accept the only one ministerial berth which will be nothing more than symbolic representation.
“They (Bharatiya Janata Party) wanted only one person from JD(U) in the Cabinet, so it would have been just symbolic participation. We informed them that we do not need the Cabinet berth,” Kumar had said.
The JD(U) chief, who later attended PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, said, “It is not a big issue. We are fully in the NDA and not upset at all. We are working together and there is no confusion.”