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Friday, December 04, 2020

This is my last election, says Nitish Kumar as Bihar heads for final phase of polls

Nitish Kumar began his political journey way back in 1977. It took him eight years to win his first election from Harnaut in 1985 after failing twice (in 1977 and then again in 1980).

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 5, 2020 8:15:37 pm
Bihar results today: JD(U)-BJP holds on to hope, RJD upbeatThe election has seen Nitish fighting for a fourth term, facing seeming anti-incumbency and economic distress. (File photo)

Three-time chief minister Nitish Kumar signed off the last day of the campaign by announcing that the 2020 Bihar assembly elections would be his last polls while addressing a rally in Purnia district. This is the first time that 69-year-old Nitish Kumar has hinted at retirement in his rallies.

“Today is the last day of campaigning and day after tomorrow is the election. This is my last election…aant bhala to sab bhala,” Nitish Kumar said while addressing a gathering in Purnia district’s Dhamdaha constituency.

Taking a dig at Kumar, LJP chief Chirag Paswan tweeted, “Saheb has said that this is his last election. This time, he has not given account of his last five years of governance and has already told that he will not come to give account next time. Do not vote for those who will not come to seek your blessings again tomorrow. In the next elections, neither saheb will remain nor JD(U). Then who will give the account?”

Earlier in the day, Paswan said Kumar would stand “with hands folded and head bowed” before the RJD leadership for another shot at power despite his party’s poor show in the assembly elections.

Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition Grand Alliance’s chief ministerial contender, who has often claimed that Kumar was “tired”, said the JD(U) chief’s remarks show he had understood the ground realities.

“We have been saying this for long that Nitish Kumar ji has worn out and he is not able to manage Bihar. Now on the last day of election campaign, he has announced that he is taking retirement from politics, maybe he has understood the ground realities,” Tejashwi said.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said now Bihar would move forward since “tired and retired” Nitish Kumar-led government had accepted retirement.

“Thankfully, Nitish ji has conceded defeat before third phase of Bihar polls. Nitish ji and Modi ji have caused more harm to Bihar than anyone else in past. Nitish babu should retire, he can share his good experiences with the Mahagathbandhan CM candidate,” Surjewala said at a press briefing.

Kumar began his political journey way back in 1977. It took him eight years to win his first election from Harnaut in 1985 after failing twice (in 1977 and then again in 1980). Since then, Kumar has not looked back.

A product of the JP Movement of 1974-75, Kumar, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term as chief minister, has been one of the two major poles of Bihar politics — the other being RJD supremo Lalu Prasad — since the Mandal revolution in the 1990s.

Kumar has come a long way from the political years he spent in the shadow of, first, Lalu, and then George Fernandes in the Samata Party, which the two of them had founded in 1994. In 2000, as part of the NDA, Nitish became the chief minister. The BJP has been supporting him since 2005, barring four years (June 2013 to July 2017).

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