Patna, Sep 1 (PTI) The RJD, the principal opposition party in Bihar, on Tuesday suffered another setback when its MLA Birendra Kumar joined the ruling JD(U) in the state.
Kumar is the seventh RJD MLA to have joined the JD(U) in the last fortnight.
Welcoming the MLA to the party fold, senior JD(U) leader and MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh said that Kumars entry into the party will strengthen the JD(U).
Assembly polls are due in the state in October- November.
After joining the party, the legislator from Teghra constituency said, massive development work initiated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inspired him to join the JD(U).
On August 20, three MLAs, including disgruntled Chandrika Rai- whose daughter is locked in a marital dispute with founding president Lalu Prasads son- had switched their loyalty to the JD(U). Rai represents Parsa assembly constituency.
The two other RJD MLAs who joined the JD(U) on the same day were Jai Vardhan Yadav, Paliganj MLA and grandson of former union minister Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav, and Faraz Fatmi, MLA from Keoti and the son of former union minister Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi.
Earlier on August 17, three RJD MLAs- Maheshwar Prasad Yadav (Gaighat MLA), Prema Choudhary (Patepur MLA) and Ashok Kumar Kushwaha (Sasaram MLA) had joined the JD(U).
The RJD had expelled these three legislators from the party for six years for their anti-party activities on August 16.
The RJD-led Grand Alliance had suffered another setback when former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) severed its ties with the alliance on August 20, after spending two-and-a-half years in the opposition coalition.
Besides RJD and Congress, the opposition grouping has RLSP of former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha and Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahni's Vikasshil Insaan Party (VIP). PTI AR MM MM