patna: Bihar rivals Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar will now be on the same side. Mr Yadav has announced unconditional support for the state's Janata Dal United government led by Mr Kumar's choice Jitan Ram Manjhi. (Meet the New Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi)
Mr Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will vote with the government in a floor test tomorrow in the Bihar assembly. (Jitan Ram Manjhi Sworn In, Asked to Seek Trust Vote on May 23)
Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar were last together as part of the Janata Dal in the early 1990s.
State BJP leaders have accused the JD (U) of colluding with the RJD to "stop the Narendra Modi wave".
Mr Manjhi took charge as Chief Minister after Nitish Kumar resigned last weekend over his party's humiliating defeat in the national election. The party won just two of Bihar's 40 seats, a sharp drop from its 2009 haul of 20. (Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Resigns a Day After Poll Defeat)
The RJD performed marginally better with four seats, just about matching its 2009 tally despite Mr Yadav's assertion that his Muslim-Yadav votebank was firmly with him.
"We want to fight communal powers and keep them out of Bihar. That's why we have offered our support to JD (U)," said Lalu Yadav. RJD leaders also said they approved of the new chief minister, who belongs to an extremely backward caste.
There had been talk of a tie-up between the two Bihar parties ahead of next year's assembly election, to keep the BJP from consolidating its hold further after winning 31 seats in the state, but leaders on both sides had denied it.
The RJD has 21 members in the Bihar Assembly whose effective strength at present is 237. JD(U) has 117 members including the Speaker.
The JD (U) ended its partnership with the BJP last year over its decision to give top billing to Narendra Modi. Since then, both parties have attacked each other incessantly.
The BJP, which has 88 legislators, had called for a test of the JD (U)'s strength in the assembly.