Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government for living under an “illusion” of patriotism and arresting JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar without evidence to divert the country’s attention from core issues on which the government has come a cropper.
Speaking to reporters here, Nitish said: “Neither the MHA nor the Delhi Police has been able to produce any evidence of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar. If they have any proof, it should be presented. People sitting at the Centre must not be under the illusion that they alone are patriots. There are patriots in every party, and no party can stand by traitors. The PM should define (the meaning of) sedition.”
He said the MHA has not been able to produce evidence against Kanhaiya nearly a week after arresting him. “Sedition charges can be levelled only with adequate evidence,” he said, and accused the NDA government of “digressing from development and economic issues and engaging in emotional issues”.
The CM pointed out that the BJP formed the government in Jammu and Kashmir with the PDP, which had demanded the release of Afzal Guru, who was executed in the Parliament attack case. “Can they tell us what kind of patriotism was it to join hands with a party that carried out a sustained campaign demanding the release of Afzal Guru? Ye kaun sa deshbhakti ka paimana hai (What standard of patriotism is this?)”.
According to the police, Kanhaiya Kumar was among the group of students that had raised slogans in favour of Afzal Guru and Pakistan. Videos coming out of the university so far, however, have not been able to prove Kanhaiya was part of any such gathering.
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The reason the government is doing all this, Nitish said, is that the NDA rode to power on popular promises but has “failed miserably on economic fronts”.
“The number of people not subscribing to the BJP’s (Hindutva) ideology is increasing (on JNU campus), so…they are out to destroy JNU and its traditions. Let them get evidence (of sedition against any student) and not try to create an atmosphere of confusion by raising emotional issues and digress from basic issues,” Nitish said. Taking a dig at the BJP, which has been claiming that Bihar is returning to “jungle raj”, as seen under the RJD, Nitish said such is the sorry state of affairs in Delhi, where the police is under the MHA’s jurisdiction, that the Supreme Court had to send its team following attacks on Kanhaiya in Patiala House courts. “Things are not improving in Delhi.
May I know where jungle raj prevails? Their actions (violence by lawyers allegedly close to the BJP) in court premises do not reflect any patriotism.”
JD(U) state spokesperson Neeraj Kumar has already visited Kanhaiya’s parents at their village, Bihat in Begusarai.