After speculations of a rift between BJP and JD(U) in Bihar, state's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attended the Iftar party hosted by one of his rival and former CM of Bihar - Jeetan Ram Manjhi on Monday. This comes right after the BJP and JD(U) skipped each other's Iftar party in Patna on Sunday. The party was attended by RJD leader and Bihar's former deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. While the JD(U) that won 16 seats in the Lok Sabha elections were not accommodated in the Modi cabinet 2.0, Kumar did not include any BJP leader in its own cabinet in the state.
Speaking to media after his Iftar Party, former CM Manjhi said:
"Whosoever will relate to our strategy and will be ready to oust the BJP then we will definitely take them together. In politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies, so for a larger interest, we are bound to forget small problems. We have to end the communal politics of the BJP, the danger that the BJP is causing to our democracy. Yes there have been problems with Nitish Kumar, he made me a CM and then remove me from the post without any reason, but the water of Ganga has flown a long way since then, now it's a fresh start. At this point, after seeing the situation, anything is possible."
This development in the Bihar politics comes after a senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Monday said that all non-BJP parties should join hands to fight against the saffron party. When asked about Kumar-led JD(U), he said that 'everyone should come in.'
"He (Nitish Kumar) will surely switch sides but no one can predict when will he do that or what will he say. This has happened several times earlier. It's not surprising... All I want is that everyone should come together against the BJP," he told the media.
Rabri Devi, former Bihar CM and wife of Lalu Prasad Yadav who hosted the yearly Iftar party on Sunday said that the Grand Alliance leaders will together decide about Kumar's induction. On the prospect of Kumar joining the Mahagathbandhan once again, Devi said: "The Mahagathbandhan will decide together if he wishes to rejoin."
Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi of the BJP said, “No political meaning should be attached to a leader’s presence or absence from at an Iftar party as it is a religious function.”
JD-U leader and a newly-inducted Minister, Neeraj Kumar have strongly reacted against Singh's statement.
"No one listens to Raghuvansh Singh in his own party. His statement has no meaning," Neeraj Kumar told the media. He also clarified that there were no differences or split in the BJP-led NDA in Bihar, of which the JD-U is a part.
Another Mahagathbandhan leader Upendra Kushawaha who is the chief of RLSP cautioned the BJP to be ready for 'Dhokha number 2', hinting that Kumar will break the alliance with BJP soon. In a scathing attack on Kumar, he also said, "Aisa koi saga nahi jisko Nitish ne thaga nahi" (there is no friend whom Nitish Kumar has not betrayed.)
On not being the part of Modi government 2.0, Kumar had earlier said, "When I was told one seat will be given to JD (U), I had said we don't need it but I'll ask my party men. I asked everyone, all of them said it's not appropriate that we show only symbolic participation when we're together.” He added, “We’re together, not upset. I am seeing reports in newspapers that we had asked for 3 seats, this is false. We had not asked for any seat.”