The Indian Express speaks to leaders of four parties which are touched by the latest political storm.
Rahul Gandhi had attacked Nitish Kumar for joining hands with BJP and dumping the Grand Alliance. He said a person can go to any limits for his own benefit. Your take.
The kind of policy paralysis in decision making in Congress on other issues was seen on this issue as well. It is this that led to the exit of Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela. Even in this case, there was no sign that Rahul Gandhi was using his good offices to resolve the crisis in Bihar after Nitish Kumar met him a few days ago. Rahul Gandhi probably wanted to see the grand alliance meeting the same fate in Bihar due to corruption cases as the UPA II did. We took appropriate action in time to save ourselves. Nitish Kumar had no intention to stay with corruption and Rahul Gandhi had the compulsion to stay with corruption.
Senior JD(U) MP Ali Anwar and party leader from Kerala M P Veerendra Kumar have expressed disagreements with Kumar’s decision
Ali Anwar is a senior MP from the party. JD(U) is a democratic party. The party’s national executive is on August 19 and he is free to raise the question there. The case of Veerendra Kumar is different. He has been nominated to Rajya Sabha by UDF. Even at the time of President election, Nitish Kumar had made it clear to him that he can vote as per his wish when he expressed his views against voting for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.
Former JD(U) President Sharad Yadav is said to be unhappy.
I have not seen or heard any statement of anger from him. The entire party, all MPs and all MLAs are with Nitish Kumar. My association with Sharad is decades-long and will stay as it is. Three days back, Nitish Kumar ji had apprised him of how difficult it had become to work with RJD. Nitish Kumar spoke to Sharad Yadav today too. Nitish Kumar is the national President of JD(U) and that authorised him to take a decision on this matter. We should also keep in mind that Sharad Yadav ji had resigned immediately after his name surfaced in the Jain Hawala case.
Will the working arrangement between BJP and JD(U) be the same as earlier. Will there be some common minimum programme. Will JD(U) be part of the central government too?
Right now, we are not part of NDA. The JDU-BJP participation is now limited to Bihar. Whether we join hands at the central level and whether it is an arrangement on the line of NDA I is something to be decided by Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi. We will be happy if an agenda of good governance comes up in which there is agreement to keep aside controversial issues.
What about the three controversial issues?
We are still committed to the agreement that we had with NDA during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure. Section 370 should stay as it is, Uniform Civil Code should not be imposed and the issue of Ram Janmabhoomi and Babri Masjid should be resolved with all sides accepting the court’s decisions. Our commitment to these issues remains firm.