LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday said he will welcome Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar into the NDA and claimed that the JD(U) chief was apprehensive that his ally Lalu Prasad of the RJD would weaken his party. Speaking to reporters on the 16th foundation day of his party, the Union minister lauded Kumar for his support to the Centre’s demonetisation step, saying he had taken a “bold decision”.
Paswan’s Lok Jantantrik Party is part of the ruling NDA coalition at the Centre. “If Nitish Kumar comes to the NDA, I will welcome him,” the LJP leaded said. He, however, added that any such decision was the prerogative of the BJP, which headed the coalition.
Paswan claimed that Kumar, whose party JD(U) was a former BJP ally and now a bitter rival, was working “under the pressure of Prasad” who had a “history of weakening his allies”.
He cited the examples of Congress and CPI, both of which were influential in Bihar in the 90s but lost much of it during their alliance with the former chief minister, and claimed that the JD(U)-RJD alliance will not last for more than two-and-a-half years.
Sources in the JD(U) though pooh-poohed speculation over Kumar’s support to demonetisation and BJP or Paswan’s praise for the Bihar chief minister.
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A JD(U) leader said to see anything deeper in this was “absurd” as Kumar had already spoken about making India “Sangh-mukt” (RSS-free). BJP chief Amit Shah had also praised Kumar yesterday, setting tongues wagging in the political circles.