Mumbai: Bihar minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Jai Kumar Singh on Tuesday defended his party's decision to support BJP-led NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind and rejected RJD's criticism of the JD(U)'s stand.
Singh said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has always supported "good people" and the JD(U)'s move to back Kovind reflects that stand. Nitish is also JD(U) national president.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has been critical of the JD(U) for supporting Kovind, a former Bihar governor, in the 17 July polls for the top constitutional post. The RJD has thrown its weight behind former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, the joint candidate of the Congress-led opposition parties who hails from Bihar.
The JD(U) leader made light of the RJD's criticism of his party over the presidential polls. "There is nothing to criticise in this (the JD-U's decision to back the NDA nominee). I know Kovindji personally and he is a very nice person," Singh told PTI in Mumbai.
The industries minister was in Mumbai to take part in the Bihar Investors' Roadshow organised along with CII.
"It is also a moment of pride for Bihar that its (former) Governor has been selected as a nominee for President," Singh added.
Yadav had appealed to Nitish not to make a "historic blunder" by extending support to the NDA nominee in the presidential polls.
Describing Meira Kumar as "Bihar ki Beti" (daughter of Bihar), Yadav had appealed to Nitish to "mend the historic blunder" of supporting Kovind, whom the former chief minister had described as "an RSS man".
The JD(U) and the RJD are ruling alliance partners in Bihar. The Congress, too, is part of the ruling coalition in the eastern state.
The JD(U)'s decision to chart its own course in the presidential polls has brought fissures among the alliance partners to the fore. The Congress, too, is miffed with Nitish over his party's decision.
Published Date: Jun 28, 2017 07:17 am | Updated Date: Jun 28, 2017 07:45 am