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Surprise support for Arvind Kejriwal, from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

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Patna –  Arvind Kejriwal received unexpected support on Tuesday when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dared former partner and now rival BJP to respond to  the Aam AAdmi Party chief’s allegation that its leaders are close to and influenced by India’s richest man, industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

The Janata Dal (United) leader did not name the corporate czar but said during his reply to the debate on the Governor’s address to the Bihar assembly, “Why is the BJP not replying to Mr Kejriwal’s charge on its relations with a top industrialist?”

Mr Kumar had ended his party’s 17-year-old alliance with the BJP in June last year after it was clear that his political rival Narendra Modi would soon be projected as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. The two parties have since exchanged sharp attacks.

In his address yesterday, Mr Kumar emphasised that there was no possibility of a rapprochement with the BJP after general elections due by May; he said he would rather dump power and step into political oblivion.

The support for Mr Kejriwal was significant. He has declared his intention to fight all the established parties in Bihar in the national elections and recently dealt an embarrassing blow to Mr Kumar when Bihar minister Parveen Amanullah, the most prominent minority face in the Nitish Kumar cabinet joined the AAP. (Read more)

Mr Kejriwal, 45, resigned as Delhi Chief Minister on February 14, after the BJP and Congress thwarted his plan to introduce the anti-graft Jan Lokpal bill in the state assembly. He accused the two parties of ganging up against him  in retaliation to an FIR he ordered against Mr Ambani.

Mr Kejriwal had asked for the FIR against Mr Ambani, Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and other policy-makers alleging that they created an artificial shortage of gas in the country and raising its prices.

He tweeted recently, “Modi should break his silence on gas pricing. Also, what is his and his party’s relation with Mukesh Ambani and Adani? (sic)”

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