‘Nitish Kumar not a PM contender, but…’: JDU’s Lalan Singh

Published on Aug 19, 2022 06:51 PM IST

"Nitish Kumar is not a contender for the Opposition's prime ministerial face but can be an option if other parties want so," the JD(U) leader, a close aide of the Bihar chief minister, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (HT File/Santosh Kumar)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (HT File/Santosh Kumar)
Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) supremo Nitish Kumar is not a contender for the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, the party’s president Lalan Singh said on Friday. He, however, added that Kumar could be an option only if the other Opposition parties backed him to take on the mantle.

"Nitish Kumar is not a contender for the Opposition's prime ministerial face but can be an option if other parties want so," the JD(U) leader, a close aide of the Bihar chief minister, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Also read | RCP Singh talks of a JD(U)-RJD merger, his ex-boss Nitish says ‘arrey chhoddiye’

Singh further said that Kumar's main focus for taking on the BJP – as the general elections of 2024 draw near – will be to unite the Opposition. “Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar wants a united opposition to take on the BJP and he will work towards this."

The Lok Sabha MP said all parties must lead a united fight to challenge the BJP-led Centre and then decide who should be their leader.

"Or, all parties should fight unitedly to defeat the BJP and decide later who will be their leader. Both options are there. Nitish Kumar will work on bringing all other parties fighting the BJP on one platform to pose a united challenge to its rule," he said.

Also read | ‘Sanctioned by CM’: BJP stings Nitish Kumar over Tej Pratap Yadav’s meeting row

Kumar delivered a jolt to the BJP – an ally since 1996 except for a period between 2013-17 – after he snapped the ties with the party earlier this month and formed the Mahagathbandhan government with the RJD-Congress-Left alliance. Speculation has since been rife that he may throw his hat in the ring during the 2024 general elections.

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