Indicating a rift within the party after its split with the ruling Janata Dal-United in Bihar, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of Legislative Assembly on Wednesday said that state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be a "better" prime minister than Narendra Modi and blamed his party for the break up of the coalition.
Rana Gangeshwar Singh, the BJP MLA from Mohiuddinnagar in Samastipur district, came to attend a function here in which Kumar was the chief guest.
Singing paeans to Nitish Kumar, Singh described him as "gaurav" (pride) of the state. "Nitish Kumar will be a better PM than Narendra Modi any day," the BJP MLA told reporters on the sidelines of the programme 'Harit Samagam' organised by the state's forest and environment department.
Rana Gangeshwar Singh is the second legislator from the BJP to come out openly in favour of Nitish Kumar despite his party's increased hostility towards him.
Earlier, another saffron party legislator from Hayaghat in Darbhanga district, Amarnath Gami had rebelled against the party and was suspended.
When reporters asked the chief minister about the presence of a BJP MLA in the function, he played it down saying, "Anybody can go anywhere."
His ministerial colleague Narendra Singh, however, said, "It was not a JD-U function. Hence, there is nothing unusual about the BJP MLA attending the programme."
Singh also blamed the BJP for the break-up of the coalition in Bihar, saying, "It was the fault of BJP that its ministers were not attending office which forced the CM to sack them."
In a reply to a query, the legislator said, "If the BJP gives me a hint, I will quit the party and openly side with Nitish."