Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Rabri Devi has said she has no objections if Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joins the grand Opposition alliance again, IANS reported. Kumar quit the alliance almost two years back.
“If Nitish Kumar joins the Grand Alliance again, we have no objection to it,” Rabri Devi told reporters on Monday night. Devi who is the wife of jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal President Lalu Prasad Yadav, however, emphasised that the final decision on such a matter would be taken by the party’s top leaders.
Her statement came hours after senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said Nitish Kumar should join forces against the Bharatiya Janata Party, and added his party was “not allergic” to anyone, IANS reported. “All non-BJP parties, whether Nitish or a, b or c should come together on a single platform to provide a national alternative,” Singh said.
Singh said the party will welcome Nitish Kumar if he leaves the BJP because of his “ill-treatment” at the hands of BJP leaders. “RJD and JD(U), with the help of other parties, can defeat the BJP,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
Singh’s comments were seen as softening of the party’s stance on Kumar after the chief ministerexpanded his Cabinet, inducting eight new ministers from the Janata Dal (United). However, he offered only one position to the BJP, which has not been filled yet.
Last week, the JD(U) opted to stay out of the new Union Cabinet after the BJP-led government allotted it only one ministerial berth. Kumar had then said that his party was not upset and was very much with the National Democratic Alliance. However, he had asserted that allies should have been given proportional representation in the Cabinet.
The BJP-Janata Dal (United) alliance has been under strain since then. In the Lok Sabha elections, the Kumar’s party won 16 seats and the BJP secured 17 constituencies. The RJD drew a blank.