Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in a hurriedly called party meeting on Wednesday, announced his support for NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the Presidential polls.
The announcement comes a day before the Congress-led opposition was to name its candidate for the Presidential election and is seen as a big setback for the ruling Mahagathbandhan comprising Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress in Bihar.
Congress was even thinking of fielding former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar - who belongs to Bihar- in a bid to get Nitish to vote with them, but that option is apparently foreclosed now.
PM Modi had also praised Nitish Kumar for enacting total prohibition law in Bihar when he was in Patna for the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Govind Singh.
The BJP-JD(U) camaraderie has sparked speculation that all is not well within the Mahagathbandhan. In fact the JD(U) distanced itself from its alliance partner RJD when a series of corruption charges were levelled against Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members. The JD(U) always maintained that it was for the embattled leader Lalu to respond to the charges.
Recently, the Income Tax Department seized 12 plots belonging to Lalu’s son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, his three daughters and a son-in-law. The BJP has demanded removal of Tejaswi as Deputy CM questioning Nitish Kumar’s much publicized zero-tolerance policy against corruption.