Setting at rest all speculation about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar joining the Grand Alliance in the state, RJD leader and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday said there is no chance of extending him an invitation ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“Why should we offer those to join the Grand Alliance who insulted the mandate of the people? We will not allow their entry into the Grand Alliance,” Tejashwi, also a former Deputy Chief Minister, told the media here.
Reporters had asked him whether the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) allies — Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) — had invited Nitish Kumar to join the Grand Alliance with certain conditions.
Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, categorically said that the doors of the Grand Alliance were closed for Nitish Kumar. “People also want this as he has proved himself a ‘Paltu Ram’ (a turncoat).”
He, however, said that the Grand Alliance was ready to welcome Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha. “We will welcome his (Kushwaha) entry into Grand Alliance.”
It was being widely speculated that senior Congress leader Shakti Singh Gohil, who is party incharge for Bihar, has asked Nitish Kumar to join the Grand Alliance. Besides, another ally HAM chief and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also extended an invitation on the condition that Tejashwi would be the chief ministerial candidate in the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls.
The Grand Alliance comprises the Congress, RJD and the HAM. In February this year, the HAM walked out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joined the Grand Alliance.
Last July, Nitish Kumar — also Janata Dal-United (JD-U) president — joined hands with the BJP and formed the government in the state after dumping the Congress and the RJD.
In the 2015 state polls, the Grand Alliance of JD-U, RJD and the Congress had defeated the BJP-led NDA.