WASHINGTON: Republican presidential rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich have joined forces to deny frontrunner Donald Trump the party’s nomination, a controversial move on the eve of Tuesday’s critical primaries in five US states. Embracing the ancient Sanskrit proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Cruz and Kasich unveiled their late-in-the-game ploy, prompting the celebrity billionaire to accuse them of “collusion” and declare the bid an act of desperation. With Trump poised to extend his lead in Tuesday’s primaries, Texas Senator Cruz and Ohio governor Kasich agreed late Sunday to what amounted to a non-aggression pact in later primaries. Kasich will forego vigorous campaigning in Indiana, which votes on May 3, and Cruz will return the favor later in New Mexico and Oregon to try to deprive Trump of victories in those states. The deal would give Cruz a chance to consolidate support in Indiana, a winner-take-all state where a Trump loss would make it much harder for him to win the nomination outright. “We’re focusing our energy on the state of Indiana and Governor Kasich is focusing his energies elsewhere,” Cruz said at a campaign stop in Borden, Indiana. Cruz justified the teaming up succinctly: “If Donald Trump is the nominee, Hillary Clinton wins” the November election and Republicans lose control of the Senate, he said.