Prime Minister Narendra Modi today endorsed Nitish Kumar as the face of NDA in Bihar, saying he “played a big role for a new India and a new Bihar”.
“Bihar was behind in terms of development for many years — politics, cash crunch were some of the reasons,” PM Modi said.
“There was a time when road connectivity, internet connectivity were not discussed. Being landlocked state, Bihar faced many challenges… Nitish Kumar has played a big role in our aim towards a New India, New Bihar,” he added.
Once an arch-rival of PM Modi, Mr Kumar had ended the alliance with the BJP in 2013 when Mr Modi, then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was named the Prime Ministerial candidate of the NDA.
In the run-up to the 2015 state elections, the two were engaged in a bitter political tussle.
But the five-time Chief Minister, who is seeking re-election, returned to the BJP fold in July 2017 after ending the Grand Alliance with the Congress and Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.