Nitish Kumar denies rumours of tension in the Mahagathbandhan

Nitish Lalu Standoff – Is Nitish Kumar forming a New Party?

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday declared that he was not in the race to become the Prime Minister in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and that the state's ruling Grand Alliance was very much intact. For the 2017 Presidential election, Kumar had initially attempted to unite the Opposition parties to pick a joint candidate.

While Kumar, the joint opposition candidate, would arrive here tomorrow, Kovind's visit is scheduled for Tuesday.

On Monday, Kumar took the message further, saying India needs an "alternate narrative", not just the "reactionary narrative", the Congress and some other parties have been trying to build vis-a-vis every move of the Centre.

More than having a face, "the opposition should have alternative narratives to go to the people against the ruling party on key issues like the problems of farmers", he told reporters.

"What I said during party meeting yesterday was in a particular context, don't interpret it differently".

On Opposition unity, the JD (U) leader said: "Coalition is not the only thing, we need to set alternative agenda and set it before the people..."

Will the other parties react? "(In) NDA there was no picture of unity or alternative agenda", he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) president Amit Shah announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind would be the government's candidate for the country's top post.

"On Presidential election, different parties have their own opinions and thought processes, and they make their decisions accordingly". It is not an issue.

When asked why he did not attend the special midnight session of Parliament for the launch of the Goods and Services Tax, the Janata Dal (United) leader said he was not invited.

At a meeting of leaders on Sunday Nitish said that that the Congress alone was "responsible for the current mess" in the Opposition. He claimed that he had no aspirations of being the Prime Minister.

Asked about the opposition indulging in "shadow boxing" instead unitedly taking on the BJP, Kumar said in a lighter vein, "There is no shadow boxing. there is only shadow reporting". Every party has its compulsions, and we have time and again stressed that we are with the Opposition in their fight against the BJP. "He is looking at it as an opportunity for himself", Jai Mrug, a Mumbai-based political analyst, said.



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