Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said the BJP considers its alliance partners as a sign of strength (''mazbooti'') and not as a compulsion (''majboori''), pointing out the party had taken along all allies when forming the government in 2014, despite having majority.
"The same will be seen this time. We view Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) as a natural ally. He deserves as much credit for the state's progress as the cooperation of the Centre," said Mr Singh, who is a former BJP president, at a rally in Purnea Lok Sabha seat with Mr Kumar sitting beside him.
The union home minister had last week held two rallies in the state for Lok Janshakti Party's Chirag Paswan in Jamui and the party's candidate in Nawada. In Purnea, he canvassed for JD(U) MP Santosh Kumar who is pitted against Uday Singh of the Congress.
Mr Singh also addressed rallies in Banka and Madhepura Lok Sabha seats, both of which are being contested by Nitish Kumar's party, before going to Araria where he canvassed in support of former BJP MP Pradeep Singh.
At the rallies, Mr Singh praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Balakot air strike after the Pulwama terror attack and questioned the opposition party's objection to PM Modi "getting credit for the same".
He accused the Congress of "repeatedly fooling the people of the country with promises of removing poverty".
"From Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in the past to Rahul Gandhi at present, all play the same tune -- ''garibi hatao'' -- but end up enjoying power in the name of the poor. The people of the country are no longer going to fall in the same trap.
"Under Modi's leadership, India's standing is rising globally. The time may not be far away when we will leave China and the US behind," Mr Singh added.