“I had no prime ministerial ambition,” senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar today said while countering BJP’s argument that he broke the alliance to occupy the top post and accused the saffron party of “spreading lies”.
“I have been accused of breaking the alliance with BJP to pursue ambition to become Prime Minister. But truth is that I had no such ambition,” he told a JD(U) function to mark the birth anniversary of socialist leader Karpoori Thakur.
BJP is an expert in advertising falsehoods like Goebel, the minister for publicity in the Adolf Hitler regime, Kumar, who is playing a pivotal role in the merger of splinter parties of Janata Parivar, said.
“And even if for a minute I say yes I wanted to become Prime Minister, is it a sin?” he said ripping through assertions of BJP President Amit Shah against him.
He said the BJP president had claimed that by becoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a person from extremely backward caste has fullfilled the dream of Karpoori Thakur. “I too hail from backward caste and if I become PM won’t it be also fullfillment of that dream?”
In an oblique attack on Modi, he said “Is the voice of anybody else heard nowdays there (Delhi)?”
Veteran BJP leader L K Advani has already been sent to ‘old storage’ and now it is the turn of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to move to ‘margdarshak mandal’ like Advani. “During Lok Sabha polls there were voices that Rajnath Singh would gain the top post … Nowdays his voice is not heard anywhere.”
Kumar, who drove JD(U) to severe ties with BJP in June 2013 over Modi being nominated to that party’s top post, said he did so to ‘checkmate communal and divisive forces’ from gaining strength.
He alleged that BJP was trying to ‘befool’ the people of extremely backward class(EBC) by observing the birth anniversary of Karpoori Thakur to gain power in Bihar.
“By making 4-5 persons MLAs and a few MPs they (BJP) wish to get the votes of EBCs. But people of this class have to decide whether they want ‘cut pieces’ (left over pieces of cloth) or ‘than’ (a bolt of cloth) which JD(U) will give them.”
Kumar, who visited Azizpur village of Muzaffarpur yesterday which was the scene of Sunday’s arson that claimed four lives, in an apparent dig at BJP alleged there was a ‘conspiracy to pit one community with another’.
“How could such a large number of people come in so many vehicles to the village ? It smells like conspiracy to take political advantage by pitting one communuity against another,” the JD(U) leader said.
He asked Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to ensure that the conspirators are nabbed even if they are hiding in ‘patal’ (nether world).
Four persons had been charred to death in the village when a mob torched nine houses after the body of an abducted was found there.
Kumar said BJP was trying to hijack Karpoori Thakur after hijacking Swami Vivekananda and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. But it will not be able to do so in Bihar.
He hit out at the Centre for ‘claiming’ to have brought down the prices of petrol and diesel. “But we must ask it have the prices been brought down in ratio to the decline in the international crude prices.”
This, he said, was being done to protect rich and eminent persons with vested interests in the petroleum sector.
BJP should also stop boasting about bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks as its leaders now claim that they do not know how much is deposited outside the country.
Attacking BJP President Amit Shah for his allegations on a news channel, Kumar alleged the saffron party was intolerant towards media if it showed or said anything against it.
“One television channel showed something on the forthcoming Delhi Assembly polls, which they (BJP) did not like. It was immediately branded as indulging in yellow journalism. The BJP is intolerant and doesn’t want to see anybody else ahead of them,” he added.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said Karpoori Thakur should have been awarded Bharat Ratna.
He asked the people to rise above considerations of caste and clan and work unitedly. “We need to break the chains of casteism and orthodox.
The poor need to work in a united manner to save India from disintegrating, and to save it from becoming a Hindu rashtra. The poor should unite to counter the rich who have all facilities.”
JD(U) president Sharad Yadav alleged that BJP was targeting Muslims by sowing fear about them in the minds of the Hindus and asked people to be alert about it.
“85 per cent population in the country is Hindu, yet the BJP is instilling fear about Muslims in them. It is targeting Muslims in the country,” he said.
JD(U) state president Bashistha Narayan Singh, several ministers including Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Shyam Rajak, Baidyanath Sahni, Rajeev Ranjan Singh ‘Lallan’, and several legislators also spoke at Thakur’s birth anniversary function.