"All's Well": Bihar Ruling Alliance Denies Nitish Kumar "Upset", INDIA Rift

Bihar's ruling coalition partners, the JD(U) and the RJD, put up a united front, reiterating "all is well" in the Opposition's mega INDIA bloc

"All's Well": Bihar Ruling Alliance Denies Nitish Kumar "Upset", INDIA Rift

Bihar's ruling coalition partners, the JD(U) and the RJD, put up a united front, reiterating "all is well" in the Opposition's mega INDIA bloc. This comes days after reports claimed Nitish Kumar was upset with alliance partners propping Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's name for the top post.

Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said there is no fight in Bihar. Asked about reports of rift in the INDIA bloc, Mr Yadav said: "Who is saying all this? Go and ask them."

The JDU has also brushed aside any reports of problems in the alliance, with its national president, Lallan Singh, saying, "All's well in the INDIA bloc. We will decide on seat sharing in a week."

Earlier, Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh, in an explosive revelation, said RJD chief Lalu Yadav has told him that the JDU will soon merge with the RJD in the state. "I don't want to politicise this. But Lalu Yadav and I go way back. He has told me that the JDU will merge with the RJD soon."

Dismissing the BJP leader's remarks, Tejashwi Yadav said, "They (the BJP) want to attribute their thoughts to others. They have to do this to stay in the limelight. If they don't say these things, will you give them space?"

Mr Yadav also shrugged off the BJP's claims that it will sweep 2024 with 50 per cent of the votes and said: "People talk."

At the fourth meeting of the Opposition alliance, held in Delhi on December 19, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee proposed Mallikarjun Kharge's name as the prime ministerial candidate of the alliance.

According to sources, 12 of the participating parties backed her given Mr Kharge is a prominent Dalit face in the Opposition. Ms Banerjee's proposal also found unexpected support from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is known for being mostly out-of-sync with the Congress. "This is a chance to have India's first Dalit Prime Minister," sources quoted Mr Kejriwal as saying.

Mr Kharge, however, downplayed this and said: "We have to win first and think what to do to win. What is the point of discussing PM before having MPs? We will try to get a majority together."

While the massive approval for Mr Kharge is being seen as an indication of his stature among the Opposition leaders, it is also seen as a snub to Rahul Gandhi - the Opposition has been divided over his candidature for the top post.