Nitish Kumar is BJP's natural ally: Paswan
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday described Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a "natural" ally of the BJP and said his return to the NDA will not only give Bihar a corruption-free government but also ensure the opposition parties draw a blank in the 2019 general polls.
Attacking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his comment that he was aware of Kumar's move was being planned, he said the grand old party was a "sinking" ship and felt "sorry" for the young leader as whenever he speaks "things and votes" glide into minus.
The minister also hit out at Gandhi for allegedly siding with RJD chief Lalu Yadav, whose family members are facing graft charges, saying Kumar must have been "most angry" with the Congress leader for not taking a stand against their corrupt practices before the grand alliance broke.
Paswan said the coming together of the JD(U) and the BJP will ensure "direct" benefit to the NDA during vice presidential poll. The JD(U) had earlier declared its support to the opposition's joint candidate, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, for the August 5 election.
The Union Food and Public Distribution Minister also reiterated that the prime minister's post was "not vacant till 2024", suggesting Narendra Modi will continue to lead the NDA even after Kumar, often considered as a contender in the race to the top office, joined hands with the BJP.