A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as secular, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday thanked him for the praise, saying the words give him comfort.
"He (Singh) has spoken the truth and one should always speak the truth and coming from the prime minister of the country, certainly gives me comfort and I offer my heartiest thanks to him for saying so," Kumar told mediapersons.
In signs that the Congress was warming up to Janata Dal-United, the prime minister had on Sunday described the Bihar chief minister as secular and said that "in politics there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends".
"In politics, there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends. We will decide as the situation evolves," Singh had said to a question whether Congress looks at JD-U as a future ally against the backdrop of the split in the national Democratic Alliance and would reach out to it.
To a question on Nitish Kumar, he had said the JD-U leader is secular.
"I cannot speculate on that or what happens in the future. We need support of all right-minded parties. In Parliament, we look for their support," Singh had said.
"The prime minister only said the things which I am," Kumar said.
Asked if it indicated the possibility of a tie-up with the Congress as the national party may support JD-U in the confidence vote in Bihar Assembly on Wednesday, Kumar said, "Kal kisne dekha hain (who has seen the future). Many things lie in the womb of future."
The Bihar chief minister said, "The prevailing political situation in the country is clear. We were left with no other option and that is why we accepted this (breaking ties with The Bharatiya Janata Party)."
Kumar said, "We can sacrifice anything for the sake of principles." "Our alliance with the BJP was in the context of Bihar and on the basis of keeping away from controversial issues of the country," he said.
"The situation has changed," he said hinting at Modi being chosen to lead the BJP during the campaigning for 2014 polls.
On the BJP observing "Viswasghat Divas" and calling Bihar bandh, he said, "When you break up from something, it initially leads to venting of anger."
"Keeping in view the long association, I'll try to have good relations with them (the BJP)," he said. "Political issues would be answered politically," Kumar said.
Taking potshots at leaders of its estranged ally, Kumar said, "Things have changed so much in the past days that they are hesitant to talk about Bihar's achievements and glory."
"Praise of works done in Bihar is considered an issue against somebody. Praising Atal Bihari Vajpayee is taken as criticism of some individual...in such condition separation from the alliance had become a compulsion," he said.
The chief minister will seek a confidence vote in a special session of assembly on Wednesday.