Controversial former Union minister and ex-RJD leader Mohammad Taslimuddin formally joined the Janata Dal (United) on Sunday.
This is expected to help Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consolidate his standing among Muslims, who he has been wooing for a long time, and could create another fault line in his prickly relationship with alliance partner BJP just before the assembly polls in the state.
Addressing a function to welcome Taslimuddin into the party, Kumar said the move “would strengthen the JD(U) and make it more secular”.
Reacting to the development, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad described it as an “internal matter of the JD(U)”.
For Taslimuddin, who was RJD’s “muslim face” for a long time before his resignation from the party in August last year, entry into JD(U) marks a political rehabilitation after his loss in the 2009 LS elections from the muslim-dominated Kishenganj constituency.