Nitish Kumar For PM? 2 Days After Taking Oath, What He Said

Talking to reporters in the national capital today, Mr Kumar said he will try to unite Opposition parties and all of them should work together.

New Delhi:

Days after causing a massive political storm by walking out of his alliance with the BJP in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar again said Prime Ministerial ambitions are "not on my mind".

His party, however, was more forthcoming. "We've said Nitish Kumar is not PM contender, but he has all qualities needed to become PM," said JDU president Rajiv Ranjan Singh. "Once the new Bihar government starts functioning, we'll go to Delhi meet Opposition leaders to arrive at consensus for a fight against the BJP across India," he told news agency ANI in Patna.

Nitish Kumar, when asked what role he would play in Opposition unity, said, "I am getting a lot of calls... We will work towards getting everyone together." 

After taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister an eighth time on August 10, Nitish Kumar had jibed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the next Lok Sabha elections: "He won in 2014, but will he in 2024?"  He had told reporters even then that he is "not a contender for anything" when asked if he wants to be PM candidate. "The question to ask is if the person who came in 2014 will win in 2024,” he said.

Folding his hands on being questioned about it again, he said, "It's not on my mind. No matter what people say, even if people close to me say it," he said, adding that it would be great if all Opposition parties work together and his job is to try to ensure that.

All of us will talk about issues of the people and how we can have a better societal environment, he added.

The Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government in Bihar will have to prove its majority in the state assembly in a floor test on August 24.

Mr Kumar said the expansion of the cabinet is likely to take place before August 15. Sources say the RJD will have more ministers than the Janata Dal-United.

Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance has the support of 164 members in the assembly.