PATNA: The rising tensions between Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) (JD-(U)) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) eased to a large extent on Sunday after chief minister Nitish Kumar said he would attend RJD’s proposed anti-BJP rally next month in which many parties are likely to participate.
Nitish Kumar said that he would attend the August 27 ‘BJP Hatao, Desh Bachao’ (remove BJP, save India) rally if RJD invited him, ending days of speculation that JD(U) might boycott the event owing to their differences over the support of presidential candidates. Previously, on Saturday, the ties between the two allies hit a new low after JD(U) general secretary Shyam Rajak said the party would not take part in the RJD rally.
Speaking at JD(U)’s day-long state executive meeting as the party’s national president Nitish Kumar hit out at their other ally, Congress. “Congress has given up Mahatma Gandhi's path. They (Congress) have also ditched Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideologies,” said Kumar. Kumar referred with bitterness how his efforts to form a broad anti-BJP alliance for the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Assam had failed.
A JD(U) leader said, Kumar's comments were a result of the attacks made on him by the Congress after the chief minister declared his support for the NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. It was also because of the Congress' failure to take JD(U) in its alliance with the Samajwadi Party in UP before the polls, the leader added.
Kumar criticised BJP, emphasising that JD(U) would not be a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) again. He said the saffron party had nothing to do with the country’s freedom movement and yet it was now ruling the country. On the rising vigilantism of cow protection groups, Kumar said: “BJP talks of cow protection. So why not they (BJP leaders) keep in their homes the cows roaming on the roads? Kumar, dismissing aspirations of becoming the next PM, said, “With 15-20 MPs, I cannot dream of becoming PM. But I am willing to cooperate (in efforts to install a non-NDA government),” he added.