Nitish Kumar news: Amid clear signals that Nitish Kumar‘s Janata Dal (United) may be heading for a split with its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal has said that it is willing to realign with its estranged partner if the JD(U) ditches the BJP.
“(RJD is) ready to embrace JD(U) if Nitish Kumar breaks ranks with BJP,” a senior RJD leader told news agency PTI. RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary said that both parties convening meetings of legislators on Tuesday was a clear indication that the situation was extraordinary.
“Personally, I am not aware of the goings on. But we cannot ignore the fact that both parties, which together had sufficient numbers to muster a majority, have convened such meetings when an assembly session is not round the corner,” Tiwary told reporters in Patna.
“If Nitish chooses to dump NDA, what choice do we have except to embrace him (‘gale lagaenge’). RJD is committed to fighting the BJP. If the chief minister decides to join this fight, we will have to take him along,” Tiwary added.
The remark assumes significance in view of a meeting of legislators called by the RJD in Patna on Tuesday. This meeting of the RJD will follow one being convened by JD(U) which has asked all its MLAs to rush to Patna by Monday evening for a parliamentary meeting of its MPs, MLAs, and MLCs on Tuesday. The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), a constituent of the NDA, is also holding a meeting of its MLAs.
The RJD’s statement may have come following a reported telephonic conversation between Nitish Kumar and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, the RJD is the single largest party with 80 seats, followed by the BJP at 77 and the JD(U) at 45. The RJD-JD(U) alliance government, which had won the Bihar elections in 2015, fell In July 2017 after Nitish Kumar pulled the plug on the alliance and realigned with the BJP.