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Nitish Kumar to remain CM as long as people of Bihar want him to: JD(U)

Upendra Kushwaha had claimed Wednesday that during a personal conversation with him, the chief minister had expressed his reluctance to run for another term after his ongoing tenure ends in 2020.

Nitish Kumar to remain CM as long as people of Bihar want him to: JD(U) The development came a day after Kushwaha expressed displeasure in Delhi over his party not getting a ministerial berth in the state government despite being an NDA constituent. (File)

The Janata Dal (United) said on Thursday that Nitish Kumar was the chief minister by popular choice and he shall continue to be in office till the time people of Bihar wanted him as their leader. The JD(U) was reacting to a claim by Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha Wednesday that during a personal conversation with him, the chief minister had expressed his reluctance to run for another term after his ongoing tenure ends in 2020.

“We do not have to say anything about the veracity of Kushwaha’s claim. What we wish to underscore is that Nitish Kumar became the chief minister not out of his own personal desire but because the people of Bihar wanted to see him in that role. And they have been reaffirming their faith in his leadership by voting him back to power,” JD(U) national general secretary Shyam Rajak said. Rajak, who is the party’s deputy leader in the state assembly, also took a swipe at Kushwaha who had been critical of Kumar for some time but has started calling him a “big brother” of late. “It is true that Kumar and Kushwaha have been like brothers. I hope that the RLSP chief remains true to the sentiment and cooperates with Kumar,” Rajak said.

A former JD(U) leader, Kushwaha had quit the party and floated his own outfit in 2013. His party comprises, largely, disgruntled elements from within the JD(U) and some of them such as RLSP working president Nagamani have been quite vocal against Kumar, even demanding that Kushwaha be made the chief ministerial candidate in the next assembly polls. Kushwaha, who had caused a flutter a few months ago by saying that he was in favour of Kumar voluntarily giving up bid for another term, had on Wednesday come out with the fresh claim at a function organised here by his party on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The development came a day after Kushwaha expressed displeasure in Delhi over his party not getting a ministerial berth in the state government despite being an NDA constituent. The RLSP chief has also been evidently unhappy over the diminution in his party’s clout within the NDA after Kumar returned to the coalition last year.

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The opposition Congress, however, chuckled at the recent developments, saying it saw a likelihood of the Bihar chief minister having expressed such sentiments as he looked “tired and out of his depth”. Senior Congress leader and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said, “We would not be surprised if it turns out that Kumar is reluctant to continue as CM.”

“His current tenure is far from satisfactory. He looks tired and jaded and no longer enjoys the grip on administrative machinery which he considered to be his USP,” Mishra said.

First published on: 01-11-2018 at 09:38:32 pm
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