Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, Chief of the Republican Party of India (RPI), has expressed that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could rejoin the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at any time. This statement comes amidst Nitish’s rumoured dissatisfaction with the recent Opposition meetings. Athawale also urged Nitish not to attend the upcoming third round of Opposition leaders’ meeting in Mumbai.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale emphasized that Nitish Kumar is considered part of the NDA family and can return to the alliance whenever he wishes. He pointed out that Nitish’s absence was keenly felt within the NDA, given his long association with the party. Athawale questioned Nitish’s decision to join the Opposition camp if he eventually intended to return to the NDA.
“Nitish hamare hain, hamare pass kabhi bhi aa sakte hain (Nitish is one of us and can return anytime),” Athawale said.
The timing of Athawale’s statement gains significance due to Nitish Kumar’s apparent unhappiness with the proceedings of the second round of Opposition meetings held in Bengaluru. However, Nitish later clarified that he had no grievances, as his suggestions were taken into account.
Athawale commended the developmental work undertaken during Nitish Kumar’s tenure as Chief Minister, particularly when he was part of the NDA. He mentioned witnessing improvements in infrastructure, citing better road conditions during a recent visit to Munger.
Addressing concerns about Bihar receiving its due share from the central government, Athawale assured that the state would continue to receive assistance for its development. He dismissed the notion of non-BJP-ruled states receiving discriminatory treatment from the Centre, asserting that Biharis are considered part of the larger Indian community.
Responding to JD(U) Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary’s claims of Bihar not receiving its fair share from the Centre, Athawale attributed the allegations to political motives. He highlighted that JD(U) is no longer part of the NDA, and as a result, its leaders are more vocal in their criticism of the central government.