IN HIS sharpest attack in the recent past against his Bihar ally, JD(U) national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Sunday that the Congress alone was “responsible for the current mess” in the Opposition. Speaking at the state executive meeting of his party, Nitish said, “The idea of a Sangh-mukt Bharat cannot fructify without taking all opposition parties into confidence. The Congress alone is to blame for the current mess in the Opposition fold…”
Targeting the Congress’s “recalcitrance”, Kumar said, “It is because of the Congress that we could not have an alliance in UP, it was because of the Congress that we could not have an alliance in Assam, and the Congress did not take us into confidence for the presidential polls as well.” According to party sources, Kumar is upset over remarks made by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, whose reference, in the context of the presidential elections, to “some persons having different ideologies” is being interpreted as an indirect criticism of the JD(U) chief. The JD(U) was the first to break ranks with the Opposition and openly declare its support for the NDA’s presidential candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, the former Bihar governor. Sources said the JD(U) had called Sunday’s meeting with the “special objective” of sending across its “message of displeasure” to the Congress.
Kumar did not refer to the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies during the meeting. “Mein kissi ke peechhe-peechhe nahin chalta, balki apni nitiyon par kayam rahta hoon (I am not the one to follow others, I follow my policies). Even when I was part of the NDA, I took strong initiatives for the welfare of minorities,” said the Chief Minister. Reiterating that the JD(U) was not in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections race, Kumar said, “We are a small regional party and we are not in the 2019 race.”
Speaking about the “Grand Alliance” in Bihar, Nitish said the JD(U) was committed to the alliance “till the last moments”. Clarifying his stand on attending the RJD’s anti-BJP rally in August, he said that if invited, he would “surely go”.