Amid speculations over Nitish Kumar becoming a prime ministerial candidate by a non-BJP front in the next general elections, the Bihar Chief Minister, on Monday, said he only desired to become an Member of Parliament (MP) and did not nourish a dream to become a Prime Minister (PM).
“I had only desired to become an MP at least once in life … I had never nourished a dream to become a minister, chief minister or prime minister,” the Chief Minister said at a function to launch a biography of ‘Super-30’ founder Anand Kumar in Patna.
“Some people are trying to defame me so that I do not ever desire to become a PM … but they are doing it uselessly as I do not harbour the ambition to become a PM,” Kumar said in an apparent dig at BJP leaders who have been making “adverse” comments on him.
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While Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav, his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) counterpart Sharad Pawar and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi have hailed Kumar for having potential to become PM, rival Bharatiya Jananta Party and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders have been making “adverse comments” on the issue.
Lauding works of Anand Kumar who is providing opportunity to students of deprived sections of the society to qualify in IITs, the Chief Minister recounted his early days of struggle in politics when he had to face defeat initially in two consecutive Assembly elections.
“I did not loose patience and continued to work hard,” he said while inspiring younger ones to have determination to do good in life. The Chief Minister showered praise on Anand Kumar and said “today he has become an identity of a resurgent Bihar.”
The Chief Minister said he drew an idea to launch bicycle yojna in Bihar, which has worked in drastically cutting down the percentage of out of school children from 12.5 per cent in 2005 to 0.85 per cent now, during a function to distribute bicycle to SC/ST girls in Patna.
“I saw excitement among girls while getting the bicycle at Nritya Kala Mandir in Patna and immediately called officials to work out how much cost would it entail if the scheme is extended for all girls,” he said revealing the idea of launching bicycle yojna in 2006.
“Due to bicycle yojna, enrolment of girls in class IX has increased from 1.7 lakh in 2005 to 8.5 lakh today,” the Bihar Chief Minister said.
“The bicycle yojna has been considered as the most effective tool to boost education in backward regions world over,” he said. Kumar said that after strengthening educational system in Bihar now the priority before his government was how to provide quality education. Mathematician Anand Kumar recounted his days of struggle when he had to face many adversities due to poor background.
“My mother and brother stood with me when I refused to join a lower-level job in postal department after the death of my father and continued studies,” he said.
‘Super 30’ has a rare distinction of helping more than 330 students of humble background crack IITs since its inception in 2002. The book “Super 30 – changing the world of 30 students at a time” was penned by Canada- based Biju Mathew who is a consultant psychiatrist and an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, and a Bihar scribe Arun Kumar. The 236-page book is published in English by ‘Penguin’ and in Hindi by ‘Prabhat Prakashan’.