Nitish Kumar is not in contention to become the Prime Minister of India but possesses all desired qualities one would expect from a prime minister, the Janata Dal (United) said today, amid buzz over the Opposition considering to project him as the face of a united campaign against Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
“We have said Nitish Kumar is not a PM contender, but he has all qualities needed to become PM,” JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh told news agency ANI on Friday.
“Once the new government starts functioning, we will go to Delhi and meet Opposition leaders to arrive at a consensus to wage a fight against BJP across India,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Nitish told reporters that he has no thoughts of becoming PM. “I say this with folded hands, I have no such thoughts…My work is to work for everyone. I will make an effort to see that all the Opposition parties work together. If they do, it will be good..,” Nitish said when asked about being seen as a likely PM face from the Opposition.
On Tuesday, Nitish Kumar resigned as Chief Minister, quit the NDA and snapped ties with the BJP, only to be sworn-in again within 24 hours as the Chief Minister. After quitting the NDA, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) realigned forces with the Rashtriya Janata Dal to stake claim to form the government again. The new government will have to prove its majority in the Bihar Assembly on August 24.
Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar’s volte-face has left the BJP fuming with several leaders of the party hitting out at the Bihar CM. Speaking to The Indian Express, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that by siding with the Congress yet again, Nitish Kumar had sounded the death knell for the socialist legacy of Dr Rammanohar Lohia, whose politics was all about “anti-Congressism”.
“Lalu Prasad Yadav has never been a conventional socialist, Nitish Kumar can claim to be so. But his latest flip-flop is troubling. This is perhaps the biggest flip-flop by a leader of Nitish Kumar’s stature and experience and may become a test case in political history. Such a flip-flop is quite unheard of,” Prasad said.