PATNA: JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan on Monday said that the party’s de facto leader Nitish Kumar was “not a claimant” for the prime minister’s post even though the Bihar chief minister had all the qualities for the top job.
Lalan said that Kumar would be working towards forging opposition unity and if the BJP is defeated in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the prime minister’s post shall go to whoever stood the chance.
“Let me repeat what Nitish Kumar has himself said many times. He is not a claimant for the prime minister’s post. It is another thing that he has all the qualities that are required for the top job,” the JD(U) chief told reporters here.
Asked about the statement by RJD leader, now the Deputy CM, Tejashwi Yadav that the longest serving chief minister was “PM material”, Lalan said, “That is exactly what we are saying. He has all the qualities required for the job. But that does not mean he is eyeing the post”.
“Nitish Kumar will be working towards bringing all opposition parties together against the BJP. If the BJP loses in 2024, then all the parties may decide who shall be the PM,” said Lalan.
Repudiating the BJP’s charge of “betrayal”, the JD(U) president said Kumar resigned as NDA’s chief minister and formed a new government when he was armed with the numbers, “unlike the brazenness we saw in Maharashtra”.
Meanwhile, Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh, a known detractor of Nitish Kumar, sneered at the talk of “PM material” and stressed that the JD(U) leader “is not capable of even becoming the CM on his own”.
“Nitish Kumar must be the only chief minister who has been sworn in eight times but never heading a government of his own party. He always needs allies whom he uses like a crutch,” Singh, who represents Bihar’s Begusarai seat in the Lok Sabha, told reporters in Gopalganj district.
He also reminded Kumar of unflattering remarks of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in the past while referring to the JD(U) leader’s change in loyalties.
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