Chautala had invited Kumar along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda and several others for the event.
An attempt to form a third front against the BJP-led NDA government by former Haryana Chief Minister and INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala suffered an early setback as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his inability to attend the birth anniversary function of former deputy PM Chaudhary Devi Lal on September 25.
In what was seen as an initial step to stitch up a third front, Chautala had invited Kumar along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda and several others for the event.
Kumar, whose party has already passed a resolution about him possessing “all qualities of a PM”, had set speculation rife about his political ambitions as he met Chautala in August this year. The JD(U) supremo has already been resisting the BJP on the Pegasus spyware controversy and caste census.
The Indian Express quoted JD(U) sources saying that Nitish Kumar “might not be very comfortable with the idea of Chautala floating a third front and talking overtly about it at such an early stage”. “We are very much part of the NDA and are running a coalition government. Any unnecessary political posturing from Jind can be avoided,” said a JD (U) source.
The JD(U) will send its national spokesperson KC Tyagi to attend the function in Jind, said JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh, also known as Lalan Singh, on Saturday. He said Chautala has been informed of the party’s decision.
A BJP leader, speaking to The Indian Express, said: “It has been part of Nitish Kumar’s politics to first launch an offensive against ally BJP and then go into a shell. He has been very good at playing twin-track politics in his bid to pressure BJP.”