Presidential election: Cracks within Bihar’s Grand Alliance after Nitish Kumar’s support to Ram Nath Kovind?

RJD leader R P Singh on Thursday questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to support Kovind's candidature. "On one hand Nitish ji takes initiative to form national 'Mahagatbandhan', on the other hand supports NDA President candidate," he said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2017 8:26 pm
Ram Nath Kovind, Presidential Polls, Dalit President, Congress, Nitish Kumar, NDA presidential nominee, Sitaram Yechury, India news, Indian Express NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind. (file photo)

In a first sign of cracks within the Grand Alliance, the RJD has backed the idea of fielding an Opposition candidate in the presidential election while its partner JDU has sided with the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Thursday questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to support Kovind’s candidature. “On one hand Nitish ji takes initiative to form national ‘Mahagatbandhan’, on the other hand supports NDA President candidate,” Singh told new agency ANI.

On Wednesday, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav told reporters that his party will support a consensus candidate after the Opposition parties meet in New Delhi. “We will go with the decision of opposition parties, which will meet in New Delhi tomorrow,” Lalu said. He has, however, refused to comment on the JDU extending support to NDA’s presidential nominee. A source in the party told The Indian Express that ““there is no question of an ideological compromise” and backing Kovind.

Meanwhile, the Opposition camp appears to be split on the issue with the JDU and BJD favouring Kovind, and the JDS and INLD indicating as much. The Congress, Left, Trinamool Congress, SP and RJD, however, appeared to be in favour of a contest for the top post.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar emerged as the frontrunner to take on Kovind. She met Congress president Sonia Gandhi late Wednesday evening. The choice for the Opposition appeared to have narrowed down to four names — Meira Kumar, Congress veteran from Maharashtra Sushil Kumar Shinde, economist and former vice chancellor of Mumbai university Bhalchandra Mungekar and B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar.

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  1. C
    Curious onlooker
    Jun 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm
    Slimy, slippery,unreliable and unpredictable partner.
    1. Sheik Mohamed
      Jun 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm
      The fact should not be forgotten that Mr.Nitish was a past ally of NDA, so it is not surprising that he supports NDA candidate for president ship.
      1. P
        Parth Garg
        Jun 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm
        Nitish the Chameleon. Earlier, He was the first to say that there will be a contest for the post.
        1. S
          Sankaran Krishnan
          Jun 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm
          It is natural that if some of the Opposition Political Parties backed the Ruling Party combine once the BJP named the Dalit candidate they will face some disunity among themselves which is already visible. The real issue for JD(U) is it do not want to associate with RJD and its Chief Lallu who had already in the wrong news for all the sins committed by him and his family and the way it is moving shows that he will be in jail for one reason or the other and along with his tainted image it is not possible for JD(U) to take that risk whereas for the corrupt Congress Party it is not like that as they always associate with scams and loots which is a part of their functioning and of course looting the Nation !!!
          1. Damodar Biswal
            Jun 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm
            Nitish is a clean n non corrupt politician .He is fed up with Lalu's jungal raj through his sons.He has taken a clear stand in favour of a person whom he thinks is the right choice for the presidentship of the country.Lalu wants politics which Nitish does not favour.Besides,Lalu is facing a lot of cases for his misdeeds during his jungle raj.Lalu stands no chance in 2019 elections.Nitish has done the right thing by keeping distance from Lalu.
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