Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday sought to downplay the praise of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by NDA ally Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi and “internal bickering” in Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, saying the alliance in Bihar was “united and firm” in Bihar.
“NDA is strong in Bihar and everybody is together,” he told reporters after his weekly ‘Janata Darbar’.
The BJP leader, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, said “Manjhi chapter is over with the Hindustani Awam Morcha chief himself clarifying that his assertion was on the occasion of Iftar and there is no plan to leave NDA.”
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At the Iftar party of Lalu Prasad, Manjhi sat beside Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and when mediapersons asked him about return of bonhomie between them, he had described Kumar as his “mentor to whom he is indebted for making him CM.”
Sushil said everybody has his/her style of speaking and Manjhi did not speak anything wrong. It was an occasion of Iftar and hence not much political meaning should be derived from Manjhi and Kumar sitting together, he added.
He also hit out at RJD President Lalu Prasad for trying to “create wedge” within NDA by saying that Manjhi should be made a central minister in place of LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan.
“He has become a ‘nithala’ (without any work) who does not have much work after being convicted in a fodder scam case which made him ineligible to contest election be it of mukhiya, MLA or MP,” Modi said.
“If Lalu Prasad is so concerned about Manjhi why did he not come to his support when he was fighting with Nitish Kumar?” he asked.
“Why did not Lalu Prasad followed the principles of ‘vanswad’ properly and make eldest child Misa Bharti or elder son Tej Pratap Yadav Deputy CM in place of his youngest son Tejaswi Yadav?” he asked.
On internal bickering within Union Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP, the BJP leader refused to make any comment and expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved by leaders of that party among themselves.