Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan today described Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision of aligning with the NDA as “better late than never”. The Nitish Kumar-led NDA government today secured 131 votes against the opposition’s 108 during the floor test in the Bihar Assembly. “I would term the decision (Nitish aligning with NDA) as better late than never, rather I would say that it is a good decision indeed,” he told reporters here.
Kumar was sworn in as the chief minister yesterday, as he returned to the NDA after four years. The day earlier, he had resigned as the chief minister, with the JD(U) breaking ranks with its allies — Lalu Yadav’s RJD and the Congress. Taking about the recent controversy in which Tejashwi Yadav was embroiled, Paswan said Kumar had two options before him — he could have dismissed Tejashwi, the deputy chief minister in the erstwhile Grand Alliance government or dissolved the cabinet.
But he (Kumar) played a “master stroke” by resigning, the LJP chief said. “Kumar has now joined hands with his natural ally by breaking his unnatural alliance with Lalu Prasad,” Paswan told reporters. “Ever since the Grand Alliance government was formed in Bihar, I had been maintaining that it would not last even for two-and-a-half years. Now my prediction has come true,” he added.
Expressing happiness over the NDA winning the trust vote in the Assembly today, the Union minister said that a “new era” has begun in the state where development would take a front seat. Paswan, who met Nitish Kumar here after a long time, greeted him for forming government and winning the trust vote.
He also requested the chief minister to put law and order, development and eradication of corruption in the foreground of his agenda for governance. With the NDA government both at the Centre and in Bihar, the state would witness rapid all-round development, he said. Asked whether his LJP would join the Nitish cabinet, Paswan hinted that his party may join the coalition government.
The ostensible reason for Kumar to quit was his falling out with Deputy Chief Minister Yashaswi Yadav, the son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad. Yadav is facing corruption charges but had refused to step down despite Kumar’s exhortations. “In the circumstances that prevail in Bihar, it became difficult to run the grand alliance government,” Kumar had said after submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on July 26.