Soon after extending unconditional support to the ruling Janata Jal United (JDU) in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad’s said that the arch rivals had decided to come together to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party at bay.
“Our support is to new Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Majhi government even though it is not a minority government. This is to keep fascist forces lead by the BJP out at any cost,” Lalu Prasad said.
Dismissing claims of the act being an act of opportunism, the RJD chief said that it is only their “commitment to keep the BJP out.”
However, he stopped short of commenting on whether the alliance will continue the Bihar Assembly elections too, “Wait and watch,” he said.
In a major development towards the formation of a new alliance in Bihar, RJD on Thursday announced its support to the JDU government of Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi in Bihar. A trust vote is scheduled for Friday.
With Manjhi, who belongs to Musahar sub-caste, taking over as the Chief Minister, the Lalu Prasad-led party does not want to be seen as opposing a member of one of the most backward community.
In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, JDU has 117 MLAs, BJP has 88 MLA and RJD has 21 MLAs. The effective strength of the Assembly is 237 after the resignation of two BJP MLAs and three JDU MLAs, and one vacancy.
Speculation has been rife about a grand secular alliance in Bihar between the Congress, the RJD and the JDU following the massive BJP win in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 31 out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar with RJD getting four, Congress two, JDU two and NCP one.
There have also been reports of dissent within the JDU with many party MLAS veering towards the BJP.