Nitish Kumar invites RJD to form a Secular Alliance against BJP

Patna: Attacking the BJP, senior JD-U leader Nitish Kumar Saturday said it was the need of the hour for all secular forces to come together to stop it in Bihar and at national level.

Upbeat a day after Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United won both the seats in the Rajya Sabha by-election, despite cross-voting by its rebel legislators fully backed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nitish Kumar said he will unite all like-minded secular parties and hinted at a realignment of forces with rival Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

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“We will try that all secular forces should come together to take on BJP in Bihar and in the country. There is a need of a larger unity against BJP,” the former chief minister said at a press conference here.

He accused the BJP of encouraging cross-voting and horse-trading to ensure defeat of JD-U’s official candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election.

“But the BJP’s dirty game plan was defeated. Never before such thing happened in Bihar. It was BJP that encouraged cross-voting and horse trading,” he said, accusing the party of trying to destabilise the Jitan Ram Manjhi government.

He invited the RJD to join hands with the party. “The door is open for RJD to join hands against BJP,” he said.

The RJD had pitched in to help the JD-U win the Rajya Sabha bypolls, following an appeal by Nitish Kumar, probably the first time in two decades when he publicly sought support from the RJD chief after the two parted ways in 1994.