The Janata Dal (United) on Friday said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s image was more important to the party than staying in power in the state, reported India Today. JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said that it would not take the party “even five minutes” to quit the government, amid a row with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
“Nitish is the leader of Mahagathbandhan, no one else,” Alok said. “Those who are threatening that they have 80 MLAs with them should not be in any kind of confusion. It will not take us even 5 minutes to quit government, power.” The JD(U) has 71 MLAs in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly.
Alok said members should avoid risking the coalition’s future by making such statements and added that the JD(U) was unhappy with Yadav’s response to the allegations. JD (U) had given the state government four days to dispel corruption allegations against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and his father Lalu Prasad Yadav. The ultimatum expires on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has advised Nitish Kumar to act in time or risk a split in the JD(U), reported The Hindu. “My advice to Nitish Kumar would be not to allow this situation to fester for two or three months and come to a decision quickly, as it is quite possible that the RJD may split the JD(U) as they have the more dependable mass base,” he said in an interview.