The European Union on Friday reached out to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is considered one of the important leaders from non-Bharatiya Janata Party opposition, ahead of next Lok Sabha polls.
The EU hosted a lunch for the Janata Dal-United leader in New Delhi. The chief minister was accompanied by party MP N K Singh, state minister
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and Bihar Cultural Advisor and former Bhutan envoy Pawan Kumar Varma.
Diplomat-turned-author Varma, a 1976 batch IFS officer had taken voluntary retirement last year and is now working with Kumar.
The EU hosted the lunch for Kumar eight months after it had reached out to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in January, when German Ambassador Michael Steiner had played host.
Twenty seven countries are part of the European Union. It is learnt that ambassadors of a number of these countries were present on the occasion to meet Kumar.
The EU's lunch with Modi was kept a secret. This time also, it was a release by the Bihar government's information division that disclosed the news.
Kumar was in New Delhi to attend a function of National Commission for Minorities, where he delivered the 6th annual NCM lecture on the topic ‘The Idea of India’ becoming first chief minister to do so.
Kumar, whose party JD-U snapped its 17-year-old ties with the BJP protesting the elevation of Narendra Modi, is considered a prime ministerial probable by many, though the Bihar CM has repeatedly declined having nurturing any such dream.
In his lecture on Friday at the NCM programme, which was also attended among others by Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan, Kumar laid great emphasis on "communal harmony" and inclusive growth questioning "of what use is the claim to good governance if in its wake it creates communal barriers and divides society?"