Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pursuing what he charged was a brand of "communal politics", former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar...
Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pursuing what he charged was a brand of “communal politics”, former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the saffron party was trying to frighten 85 per cent of the people of India by demonising 15 per cent of the minority population.
The JD(U) leader, whose party is being partnered by RJD in Bihar, also said that the tie-up with the Lalu Yadav-led outfit would not change his “principles of good governance”.
Speaking on ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’, Kumar alluded to several controversial statements made by BJP leaders and the row over alleged forced conversions in Agra and said that the Narendra Modi government was working on the ground to divide society while talking up its development agenda in public.
“They (BJP) talk about their strength. What kind of strength is this that you frighten about 85 per cent of the people (Hindus) by raising the bogey of 15 per cent of minorities?
“They talk outwardly of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ but are working on ground to divide society,” he said.
Kumar said there is no difference between RSS and BJP in its current “extremist” avatar, adding that the former was “marginalised” during the “moderate” Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s term as prime minister. Kumar had been a Cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government.
Kumar, who had resigned as Bihar Chief Minister following his party’s rout in Lok Sabha elections, said that the proposed merger of Janata Parivar offshoots was an attempt to strengthen the opposition. If the new outfit does well, then parties from other states can also join them, he added.
Meanwhile, admitting that people had preferred Modi’s agenda over his in the Lok Sabha elections, Kumar, however, said that the “manufactured aura” around the Modi government remains but will fade away in time.
The media and others will then think about the massive spending and the advertisement blitzkrieg which had driven BJP’s campaign for Lok Sabha polls.
JD(U) had parted ways with BJP over Modi’s elevation as the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate.
Further, accusing the Centre of cutting funds for schemes like MGNREGA and other developmental initiatives, Kumar said the NDA government was working for some, not all. He said that even after being in office for six months, the NDA government was not clear as to its priorities and nobody knows what will happen next.
Taking a dig at Modi, Kumar said that the BJP leader had said at least 170 places during campaigning for the general elections that Rs 15,000-20,000 can be given to all poor people in the country if black money was brought back to India from foreign accounts.
“He should deposit at least 10,000-15,000 in 5 crore bank accounts opened under the Jan Dhan scheme… It will give them benefits of accident insurance,” he said.
Asked about his rallies in Bihar where he plays Modi’s speeches to allude to the promises he had made, Kumar said he was trying to show the difference between the NDA government’s utterances and the real scenario.
“Politicians must be held to account for what they say,” Nitish averred.
Meanwhile, brushing aside concerns that his alliance with foe-turned-friend Lalu would be a return to the “misrule” of the RJD governments in Bihar, Kumar said, “Let me give you an assurance — the good governance, the rule of law that we brought in Bihar will not be compromised.”