Bihar Grand Alliance is 'strong and stable', asserts Congress

Nitish Kumar JDU

"This is exactly what I mean when I say that mere opposition unity would not serve any goal unless there is an alterantive narrative".

Amid rumors of Opposition parties zeroing in on Nitish to be the Opposition's face to stop the Modi juggernaut in 2019, the Bihar Chief Minister ruled out any such possibility.

Fear of a split within the grand secular alliance grew on Sunday after Bihar CM Nitish Kumar gave clear signs of differences with his coalition partner Congress and RJD.

Extending his support to the NDA's GST, he said, "We fully support the GST tax reform".

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Nitish Kumar also criticised without naming anyone that the issue of farmers was pushed to the back burners due to Presidential elections. Union Minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale had yesterday took a jibe at the Congress saying it was using Kumar as a "scapegoat" by fielding her as the opposition candidate in the July 17 presidential election.

Expressing his frustration with the way the Opposition parties have been conducting themselves in their preparation for the 2019 polls, Nitish Kumar said simply uniting would serve no goal in dislodging the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. "The Congress president had very categorically said a few days ago that in the end, these are decision taken entirely by any individual party, and that decision is of that party alone", said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Although widely considered by JD (U) leaders and workers as the prime ministerial candidate of a likely alliance of non-NDA parties, Nitish Kumar denied yet again that he is in the race. "I do not want to be Prime Minister", added Nitish. On the leader of the opposition's Ghulam Nabi Azad's statement that he has multiple ideologies he said that " "Some people have different ideologies.

Kumar's comments come at a time when questions have been raised on the continuity of the alliance after JD (U) made a decision to back NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind while the other members including the Congress and RJD backed the opposition's Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker. Going against the decision of its alliance partners, the RJD and the Congress, Nitish Kumar's JD (U) has chose to back the candidature of former Bihar governor Kovind. We were not even aware of their castes.

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