Union minister Ramvilas Paswan today lauded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for sticking to his stand on supporting the NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to join to the BJP-led alliance. Kumar not only ruled out any change in his stand yesterday but also attacked the Congress for propping up ‘Bihar ki beti’ Meira Kumar as the opposition’s candidate for a “lost cause”. “Nitish ji spoke rightly that opposition parties have deliberately made Meira Kumar their candidate for presidential poll for a definite defeat,” the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister told reporters here.
“When power was in their (Congress) hands during the 10 years of UPA rule, in which Lalu Prasad was a part, why did they not remember the ‘Bihar ki Beti’ (Meira Kumar) then,” Paswan, the LJP president and a prominent dalit leader, said. He said it was only after Kovind’s name came up as the NDA nominee that the opposition forwarded Meira Kumar’s name. Paswan, who is in Patna to host an Iftar Party on behalf of his Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), an NDA ally, welcomed Nitish Kumar’s decision to support Kovind and invited him in the NDA fold. “We urge him (Kumar) not to put his legs on two boats. He should come to the NDA at the earliest (and) we would welcome him,” he said.
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“With him joining the NDA, the alliance would gain strength and it would be good for Bihar too,” Paswan, who is MP from Hajipur, said.