The JD(U) today announced its support for the BJP-led NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, dealing a serious blow to Opposition parties’ attempts to put up a united candidate against him.
Its spokesperson K C Tyagi also said that the JD(U) will not attend the meeting of opposition parties tomorrow, saying the meeting is now “irrelevant” for his party after its support for Kovind, a low profile Dalit leader whose nomination by the BJP has drawn support from several non-NDA parties.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also JD(U) president, had praised Kovind’s tenure as the governor of Bihar on Monday hours after BJP chief Amit Shah named his as the ruling bloc’s presidential pick.
Tyagi, however, insisted that the JD(U)’s support to the BJP on the presidential poll is an “isolated incident” and it will remain part of the opposition’s efforts for unity against the saffron party in future.
“This isolated incident will have no bearing on our efforts for the larger opposition unity,” he told news agencies.
Kumar’s support to Kovind is, however, set to seed doubts in parties like the Congress and the RJD, both of which are his allies in the Bihar government, about his future political course.
Earlier too, he had supported the government’s decisions like demonetisation, which had invited flak from its allies.
Former JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav had so far been a leading opposition voice for a unity against the BJP over the presidential poll. He had been attending meetings of opposition parties.