New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Congress on Monday asserted that the "Mahagathbandhan" -- the Grand Allaince -- in Bihar was "strong and stable" and the recent statements by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad arose in context of the Presidential election, which is a closed chapter now and the issue is "settled".
"This kind of questioning arose actually in the original context of the Presidential election, that now is a chapter which is over," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
"As far as the choice of candidate is concerned, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had very categorically said a few days ago that at the end these are decisions taken entirely by any individual party and that decision is that party's alone," he added.
Singhvi said: "There is complete autonomy in such decision making unless parties choose to agree with each other. Whatever had to happen has happened as far as this is concerned. It has absolutely no impact on our relationship as far the JD-U, Congress and other parties are concerned in Bihar."
"Nitish Kumar himself has said so and our coalition is strong, stable and straight there and everybody stands by each other," he added.
Nitish Kumar on Sunday said that the Congress alone was "responsible for the current mess in the opposition".
The Bihar Chief Minister on Monday declared that he was not in the race to become the Prime Minister in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that the state's ruling Grand Alliance was very much intact.
He said all was well in the 'Mahagathbandhan' -- Bihar's Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Congress led by him.
"I understand the deep wish and desire of some political quarters to exacerbate and exaggerate differences between the JD-U and us. It is fully understood by those who do not want this special unity and special coalition to stay," said Singhvi.
"What you are saying is static arising from one issue only, that is the Presidential election. All issues are arising in that context. Yes, prior to the Presidential election, we have had a very successful administration without any statements," he added.
The Congress leader said "these statements have not affected our Bihar arrangement in any manner".
"Each party is entitled to have their stand on such issues. There is no misgiving on this account," he added.
Singhvi clarified that the issue is now settled, and added that each party is entitled to go its own way and it does not in any manner "affect the efficiency and strength of our unity".
"Let me assure you, contrary to all those naysayers, we are going to defy them and show them how wrong they are. These are all static, minor-static on a closed issue that is the Presidential election issue. That issue is now settled," he said.
Commenting on Nitish Kumar's remark that demonetisation was not even an issue which was raised, Singhvi said: "Every party has different perceptions and issues. They raise those issues based on that. Many parties took a stand against demonetisation. If we stayed quiet, we would have been blamed for staying quiet."
"Winning Uttar Pradesh election doesn't discount the fact that the issue of wrong economic policy which is against the nation's interest becomes correct. Demonetisation was a wrong decision and will remain so. Election is a different thing," he added.