Former Bihar Chief Minister and chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lalu Prasad Yadav today asked its alliance partner Janata Dal (United) to reconsider its decision to support NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind. Speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of 17 opposition parties that arrived at a decision to pit Congress’ Dalit face and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as its candidate in the race for the next President, Lalu said that ‘extending support to anyone merely on face value is not justified’.
In a snub to Nitish, with who’s party the RJD is in government in the state, the RJD leader said that he could never compromise with his ideology by supporting PM Narendra Modi. He even accused the NDA of not consulting the opposition before declaring Kovind, former Bihar Governor, as the presidential candidate.
“Nitishji had called me. He had told me that it was his personal view. I told him not to think about this… the JD(U) should reconsider its decision,” he said.
Lalu’s reaction comes immediately after the opposition parties declared former Speaker Meira Kumar as their presidential candidate. Kumar, 72, a Maha Dalit leader, hails from Bihar’s Sasaram. Daughter of former deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram, she was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha and served from 2009 to 2014.
Nitish Kumar had yesterday made it clear that the JD(U) will go with NDA’s candidate for the top constitutional post and that the party will not attend today’s opposition parties meet.
While BSP chief Mayawati has said that the party will now be supporting Meira Kumar’s candidature, it is unclear at the moment if there will be attempts to get Nitish Kumar to change his mind too.