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Nitish Kumar Swears By Alliance, But Attacks Partners More than BJP

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar swore by the mahagathbandhan a day after he hit out at ally Congress, but then at a press conference on Monday ended up taking potshots more at his partners than at rival BJP.

Alok Kumar | CNN-News18

Updated:July 3, 2017, 2:27 PM IST
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Nitish Kumar Swears By Alliance, But Attacks Partners More than BJP
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also took on the Congress for ignoring regional parties.
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Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar swore by the mahagathbandhan a day after he hit out at ally Congress, but then at a press conference on Monday ended up taking potshots more at his partners than at rival BJP.

Taking a dig at the Congress and the RJD, the JD(U) leader said the opposition should not object to all government moves just for the sake of opposition unity. “We should not oppose everything the NDA government does just to keep opposition unity. People are looking for alternative agenda. The GST is an example. I openly welcomed it as this tax reform will be very beneficial for the state,” Nitish said.

Nitish also took on the Congress for ignoring regional parties and reminded the Lalu Prasad-led RJD to not become a mere “follower”.

He tried to downplay the differences within the Grand Alliance, but said he would continue to take decisions independently. ‘At present, I do not see any danger to our alliance. But I can’t say what will happen in the future. To defeat the BJP, the opposition must have an alternative agenda which I can’t see for now.”

Nitish Kumar also reminded the RJD that the mahagathbandhan came to power in 2015 not only because they fought the election together but because “people kept in mind the previous work done by the government’, referring to his first two terms in office when he was part of the NDA.

Kumar also sought to deny speculation on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "I am not the prime ministerial face for 2019 elections. Have you seen of late that those who get projected in the media never make it."

The JD(U) and the RJD along with the Congress are the partners in the ruling grand alliance in the state. The differences between the two major partners of the alliance surfaced ever since the JD(U) unilaterally announced its support to former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, NDA's presidential nominee, without waiting for the united candidate of the Opposition.

Another point of contention within the Mahagathbandhan was the JD(U)’s decision to attend the launch event of GST in Parliament at the midnight stroke of June 30. Senior JD(U) leader and Bihar Energy Minister Bijender Prasad Yadav attended the special session, while the RJD and the Congress had boycotted it.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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