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A day after backing Ram Nath Kovind's candidature for the president's post, the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) on Thursday said that there was no question of going back to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and it continued to be an integral part of the united opposition. "The decision to back Kovind's candidature is an isolated incident...
We'll never go back to the NDA-fold again," the JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi told PTI over phone from Delhi. Tyagi said Kovind, the ex-Governor of Bihar, had played a positive and non-confrontational role in the functioning of the state government. During his nearly two years' tenure as the Bihar governor, Kovind handled himself with dignity and poise and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was quite impressed with his demeanour and grace which convinced him to back his candidature for the president's post, he said. He said Kumar, who is the JD(U) national president, and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechuri during the DMK founder M Karunanidhi's 94th birthday celebrations at Chennai on June 4 had discussed the name of former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi as the opposition's candidate and it would have stayed the course but for the NDA throwing a surprise by announcing Kovind's candidature. "We are bound to support the former Bihar Governor's presidential bid as he had discharged his duties with grace and poise," Tyagi said, adding that having decided to back Kovind's candidature it did not make sense to attend the meeting of the Opposition parties in Delhi today to decide on the presidential elections. The JD(U) national spokesperson asked the NDA to refrain from nursing any illusion about his party going back to the ruling alliance at the Centre and charged the Narendra Modi government with failing on all fronts. "Despite backing Kovind's candidature for the president's post, we are of the considered view that the Modi government has failed on all fronts," he said. Tyagi said that contentious issues like Ayodhya, Uniform Civil Code and Article 370 continued to be the sore points between the NDA and the JD(U). "In fact, the communal strife has worsened throughout the country over the past three years," he alleged. Stating that the JD(U)'s decision to stand by Kovind's candidature for the president's post is an "isolated incident," Tyagi said that his party would continue to be an integral part of the united opposition.