Showering praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that “nobody has the capability to challenge him” in the 2019 elections. “Modi ji ka muqabla karne ki kisi mein chhamta hai nahi,” said Kumar in his first press conference after being sworn in as the chief minister for the sixth time.
Interestingly, Kumar had severed ties with the BJP before the 2014 elections after the NDA nominated Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. Kumar, however, had said his reason to break the alliance with the BJP was that he did not wish to empower the communal forces.
Three years later, Kumar however, joined hands with the BJP after breaking the Grand Alliance with RJD and Congress in Bihar and formed anew government in alliance with the saffron party. Citing corruption cases against RJD leaders, Kumar resigned as the chief minister last week, only to be sworn in as the chief minister again with the support of the BJP.
On secularism, Kumar said that he did not need any certificate from anybody on the issue. “What does secularism mean? Does secularism mean making property worth thousands of crores?” he asked.
The Congress, however, mocked Kumar for praising Modi saying that the Bihar Chief Minister has once claimed that Modi would ruin the nation. Speaking to ANI, Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said,” Now, Nitish Kumar will only sing praises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier he used to say Modi will ruin the nation and he won’t ally with BJP led-Central Government in any condition. He is a man of no principles and he won’t decide who will win the 2019 Lok Sabha election but the nation will.”
Taking a jibe at Nitish Kumar for joining BJP amid the prevailing tension in the Bihar Grand Alliance, Congress MP Rajeev Shukla said that the former does not have the nerve to say anything against the Prime Minister now, given the current circumstances. “What do you expect from Nitish Kumar? Will he say Modi will lose 2019 Lok Sabha Elections? He is running the government with support of Modi ji. How can he speak against Modi?”