Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said he had tolerated a lot for the last two years when his Janata Dal (United) was in an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal. This was the first briefing by Kumar since the recent political upheaval in Bihar.
“I didn’t have a choice, I tolerated everything,” Kumar told the reporters. “I thought this happens in alliance, and so I continued to work.”
He said RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is also the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, had been given a chance to explain the corruption allegations made against them by the Central Bureau of Investigation. “I had asked to explain the corruption allegations, had they done that, situation would have been different,” Kumar said.
The JD(U) chief said the party has a strong stand against corruption, and that is why the situation had become difficult between the JD(U) and the RJD. “What has been going on in the media for the last three weeks put a question mark on me as well,” Kumar said. “But our entire party agreed that the principles we have, we shouldn’t abandon them.”
Kumar said he had spoken to Lalu Prasad Yadav and Congress leader CP Joshi about his decision to resign before he approached Bihar Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. “It was after that the BJP’s proposal came. They said we are with you and even the prime minister tweeted,” he said, adding that no party had the capability to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Kumar also confirmed that his party will support the Opposition’s candidate for vice-presidential elections, Gopalkrishna Gandhi. “The BJP don’t have a problem with that,” he added.
Sharad Yadav opposes JD(U)‘s alliance with the BJP
Earlier on Monday, JD(U) co-founder Sharad Yadav had said that he did not approve of his party’s decision to ally with the BJP in Bihar. “It is unfortunate,” the Rajya Sabha MP told reporters outside Parliament. “This was not the mandate of the people.”.
Kumar joined hands with the BJP and was sworn in as the chief minister of Bihar on July 27, 14 hours after he resigned from the post. Sharad Yadav is believed to have met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi after Kumar announced his decision.
The Congress, RJD and JD(U) made up the alliance in the state, which Kumar broke away from on Wednesday evening to ally with the BJP. The Bihar chief minister won the floor test in the Assembly on July 28 with a comfortable 131-108 margin. After proving his majority in the House, he said the mandate was to serve the people of Bihar and not one family.