Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday ruled out any future alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it had "betrayed" his party by projecting Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.
Kumar said it was "impossible" for the Janata Dal (United) to return to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
"Chahe hum mitti mein mil jayen ya kuch bhi bura ho jaye, yeh namumkin hai ki hum BJP ke sath dobara ho jayen (Whether our party bites the dust or some terrible contingency occurs, it is impossible for us to go back to BJP)," Kumar said in reply to a debate on the governor's address in the Bihar assembly.
Calling his party's split from the NDA in June last year a "well-thought-out decision", Kumar said Nitin Gadkari, who was then BJP president, had assured JD (U) that no "controversial" person would be projected as PM candidate.
"Nitin Gadkari had promised us that no controversial person will be made the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA. But BJP decided to project Modi and we were forced to end the alliance," Kumar said.
He said his party had made it clear to Gadkari and other BJP leaders, including LK Advani, that the JD (U) would walk out of the NDA if Modi was chosen as PM candidate.
"The era of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani has ended. A new era has begun. Now, under no circumstances can the JD (U) return to the NDA."
The chief minister also dared the opposition to bring a no-confidence motion against him in the assembly and pull down his government.
"It is because of our avowed principles that I accepted being reduced from a majority government to a minority government by breaking away from the BJP," Kumar said.
"I propose that the rules of legislative business cease and the opposition be allowed to bring a non-confidence motion in the current session itself."
Kumar also accused the BJP of trying to sully the image of Bihar minority welfare and IT minister Shahid Ali Khan by linking his name to two suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives, Jameel Akhtar and Mansoor Sai. The BJP has demanded Khan's resignation.
Kumar said the Bihar police had received a letter from Sashastra Seema Bal (armed border guards) last month seeking verification of the charges against Khan. The Special Task Force (STF) had asked police in Motihari and Sitamarhi districts to probe the matter and found the allegation false, he said.
"In case of such matters, either I or the speaker of the state assembly should have been informed. What is the source of the information with the Sashastra Seema Bal, which took suo motu note of the matter and forwarded it to the STF in Bihar for verification?" Kumar said.