A meeting of the All-India Pasmanda Muslim Mehaz (AIPMM),an apolitical forum of OBC Muslims,on Monday assailed Narendra Modis brand of divisive politics.
Though posters put up by the organisation,headed by JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar,said Nitish Kumar would be the chief guest at the function,the chief minister did not attend the event. Kumars daily programme also did not list his presence at the meet.
The event was seen as the first big move by the JD(U) to send across the message of its unflinching secular credentials among representatives of the forum.
It is learnt that the chief minister was unhappy with AIPMM members who had protested outside his residence on the day he announced the split with the BJP.
Anwar,however,put up a brave front and held the function for four hours,giving chance to representatives from across the state to put forward their views. Almost all speakers called Kumar the new messiah of Muslims and flayed Narendra Modi for playing divisive politics.
The speakers,several of them social and religious leaders,justified Kumars decision to part ways with the BJP over unofficial projection of Modi as NDA PM candidate. They also criticised RJD chief Lalu Prasads pseudo-secularism.
Anwar said: We have always talked of taking along the poor and backward together. Pasmanda Muslims,constituting 80 per cent of Muslims in Bihar,can never be discounted.
Kumar,speaking to reporters at Janta Darbar,took on BJP leaders for their jibes on Bihar governments relief measures in Uttarakhand.
In an obvious dig at Modi,he said: I am not a Rambo and could not jump to rescue people in Uttarakhand. We have been doing what is humanly possible. We have contributed to relief fund and still have a camp there.