Nitish thanks PM for calling him secular, doesn't rule out alliance with UPA

Janta Dal (U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for calling him a secular leader, but refused to divulge details on whether his party would support the ruling Congress.

"He has called me secular because I am... since the statement comes from the PM, I thank him," Nitish said on Tuesday.

JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. PTI

JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. PTI

On a likely alliance with the UPA, Nitish said: "That is a talk of the future. Nobody knows what can happen tomorrow."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said Nitish Kumar was a secular leader and that there were no enemies in politics hinting there may be an alliance in the offing between the two parties.

While the Bihar Chief Minister has said it is premature to consider an alliance with the Congress, he hasn't ruled it out either.

Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at Nitish Kumar and questioned his double standards.

Speaking at a rally during the Bihar bandh called by the BJP, party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Nitish shouldn't talk about principles. "What happened when Modi visited Bihar in 2010? Nitish didn't even offer a courtesy visit."

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling Nitish a secular leader, Prasad said: "Good for Nitish if he needs a secular certificate from the Prime Minister."