Buoyed by the Shiv Sena-NCP- Congress coalition forming the government in Maharashtra, RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Saturday made a fresh pitch for a rainbow coalition of parties opposed to the BJP in Bihar and reiterated his hope that JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar would "join it dumping the NDA".
The former Union minister asserted that the country was in "poor shape" under the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, blaming controversial measures like demonetization for the economic slowdown, and stressed the need for Bihar "setting an example, as it has done always".
"Bihar will not follow the example of Maharashtra. Rather, it will set an example for the entire country, as it has always done. I believe all parties would come together to defeat the BJP in the assembly elections. And I am firm in my belief that Nitish Kumar will come back", Singh told reporters.
Asked about many leaders of his party, including Tejashwi Yadav whom RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has anointed his political heir, having objections to a realignment with Kumar, Singh who is one of the founding leaders of RJD, said "people disagree with me initially but within six months you may see a change in the mood".
Singh said "Go and speak to any leader individually and privately. All will sound to be in favour of Nitish coming back to us. And he will do so. He will find his reasons to do so. You must not forget that he had snapped his ties with the BJP in 2013 saying the party no longer stood for the principles espoused by Vajpayee and Advani."
The veteran RJD leader claimed that with the countrys economy in distress and social tensions being fanned by the BJP, Nitish Kumar has plenty of reasons to review his continuance in the NDA.
Assembly elections in Bihar are due next year. The 2015 polls were fought together by Kumars JD(U), RJD and Congress and the Grand Alliance had inflicted a crushing defeat on the NDA temporarily bringing to a halt the BJP juggernaut that was set in motion by the partys spectacular victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Differences with the RJD led Kumar to join hands with BJP in 2017. The NDA in Bihar at present also includes Ram Vilas Paswans LJP and the coalition had won 39 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections this year which saw the RJD drawing a blank.
Amit Shah had recently made it clear that the BJP was looking forward to contesting the assembly polls under the JD (U) chiefs leadership, putting to rest speculations that the saffron party which has come to acquire a near hegemonic status across the country may no longer agree to play second fiddle to Kumar with whom its political ties date back to the 1990s.
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