Nitish Kumar Open To Shatrughan Sinha Joining JD(U): 'It Is His Call'

05/08/2015 11:44 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha, is garlanded in an election campaign rally in Allahabad, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. India's largest state Uttar Pradesh is currently going to the polls in seven-phases in a month long local election with repercussions for the whole nation. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

NEW DELHI -- On the day that Shatrughan Sinha made a contrarian remark about the suspension of Congress Party lawmakers from the Lok Sabha, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader could join his party - the Janata Dal (United) - if he wanted to.

That's not all.

On the day that Kumar launched a social media campaign to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making jibes at his "DNA," the BJP lawmaker from Patna thanked the JD(U) leader for calling him the "pride of Bihar."

Responding to a question from HuffPost India on Wednesday about whether he would like Sinha to join the JD(U), Kumar said, "It is his call."

READ: Nitish Kumar Writes To Modi: Your 'DNA' Remark Has Insulted People, Take It Back

Even though the battle for Bihar between the BJP and JD(U) has intensified over the past month, Kumar and Sinha come across as thick as thieves. Both leaders have publicly praised each other, and their amicable exchanges stand out as oddity in the midst of the heated contest between their parties.

While Kumar called him the "pride of Bihar," Sinha said that the BJP chief minister is the"guardian of the state."

Meanwhile, Sinha has defied his own party on two key issues: death penalty for Yakub Memon, who was recently hanged for his role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, and the suspension of 25 Congress Party lawmakers from Lok Sabha on Monday. Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Singh had embarrassed the party by signing a petition which pleaded leniency for Memon.

READ: Arun Jaitley Says Shatrughan Sinha Embarrassed BJP By Signing Petition To Not Execute Yakub Memon

Sinha has always shared a pleasant equation with Kumar, who he called "PM material" in 2013, and for now, he is holding his cards close to his chest. But the former actor's appeal, which transcends caste lines, makes him an asset for any party, especially during an election campaign.

Speaking to the media after Modi's visit to Bihar, last month, he professed his longstanding loyalty to the BJP and ruled out joining the JD(U). But then, he added, "Kal kisne dekha hai" (who has seen tomorrow).

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