Bihar CM Nitish Kumar puts 'merger' ball in the RLD's court

Patna: Amid reports that chances of merger of JD(U) and RLD of Ajit Singh are almost over, JD(U) president Nitish Kumar said the initiative to this effect had come from RLD and so this should be answered by them.

"Initiative to this (merger) had come from Rashtriya Lok Dal itself. They should answer this (if chances of merger are over)," Kumar, also Bihar Chief Minister, told reporters.

Kumar, whose slogan of "Sangh-mukt" country has triggered a national debate and also a talk over his chances of becoming Prime Minister after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, said he has already made it clear that he has no claim for the PM post.

"At the JD(U) National Council meeting (that ratified Kumar's appointment as party President in place of Sharad Yadav) recently I had said categorically there is no claim from my side for PM post," he said.

Nitish Kumar. File photo. Reuters

Nitish Kumar. File photo. Reuters

When it was mentioned that NCP president Sharad Pawar has described him as PM material from the grouping of anti-BJP parties, Kumar said he was indebted to Pawar who is among "the seniormost leaders of the country".

To another question about the state Congress' view that Rahul Gandhi alone is the PM candidate, Kumar did not give any specific reply. Congress minister Madan Jha was present at the press conference.

Kumar said, "He (Jha) is sitting here as the revenue minister in my government. This is not a meeting of the Grand Secular Alliance."

On invitation from Nepal to attend Buddha Purnima programme on 21 May, Kumar said the invitation has been sent to External Affairs ministry and he was waiting for their comment on the trip.

About media reports that PM Narendra Modi wants Kumar to travel with him to Lumbini, which is being seen as his closeness with him post-Bihar poll, Kumar said he has no knowledge of this.

Kumar said he will attend anti-liquor programmes at Dhanbad in Jharkhand and in Lucknow and Varanasi in UP. "Wherever I am called for creating awareness against liquor I will try to attend it," said Kumar whose government announced complete ban on sale and consumption of alcohol in Bihar on 5 April.

Updated Date: May 02, 2016 21:19 PM

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