‘No taint of corruption in him’: Rajnath Singh on Nitish Kumar's return to NDA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘No taint of corruption in him’: Rajnath Singh on Nitish Kumar's return to NDA

ANI |
Apr 12, 2024 10:37 AM IST

Nitish Kumar, in another of his switchovers, returned to the NDA earlier this year and took oath as the chief minister for the ninth time.

Explaining the rationale behind the BJP welcoming back former partner Nitish Kumar and his party, the JDU, into the NDA fold, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said his party was happy to have a leader with no 'graft' taint on him back in the mix.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh
Defence minister Rajnath Singh

After a brief dalliance with the RJD, Congress and other parties in the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar, Nitish, in another of his switchovers, returned to the NDA earlier this year and took oath as the chief minister for the ninth time with the support of the BJP and the other constituents in the ruling alliance.

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Also read: ‘They had no role’: Nitish Kumar rebuts Tejashwi Yadav over 5-lakh jobs claim

Weighing in on the Nitish question in an interview with ANI, the Defence Minister said, "One should remember that there is no taint of corruption on him. This isn't a small thing and should be acknowledged. Hence, it only stands to reason that we would be happy to have a leader like him back with us."

Not blaming the nine-time Bihar CM for all the ills and issues plaguing the state, Rajnath said, "The prevailing state of affairs in Bihar will change for the better. You will soon see the difference. The state will mark rapid forward strides in the coming days. The country cannot progress till all the states meet all development parameters and register rapid growth."

On whether the ushering in of turncoats from rival camps into the party betrayed a lack of confidence in the BJP in meeting its goal of 'Ab ki baar, 400 paar' (beyond 400 seats this time), Rajnath said, "It's not like we are taking in new members out of necessity. If someone wants to join our family, why should we object?"

Also read: On Nitish Kumar touching PM Modi's feet at Bihar rally, Tejashwi Yadav says ‘we felt very bad’

On whether giving membership to dissident Opposition leaders would affect the party's messaging going into the Lok Sabha elections, the Defence Minister said, "No, we have no worries on that front. Our members put in sincere efforts all around the year to advance our ideology. We belong in a party that works on specific programmes and our goal, presently, is to make India a developed nation by 2047. So, why should we refuse those who wish to come with us? We welcome all the new members."

All 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar will go to polls across all seven phases. In Phase 1, voting will be held in four seats, while another five seats will poll in phases 2 and 5. In phases 6 and 7, votes will be cast for 8 seats each.

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 will be held in seven phases, starting April 19. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4.

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