An epic war of words has erupted between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, provided ammunition by father Lalu Prasad Yadav over former’s decision to back NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind for Presidential Election 2017. Launching a scathing attack on Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav on Friday said that his party cannot compromise on the ideological part, and henceforth won’t support Sangh-backed Ram Nath Kovind as the candidate for President’s seat. “We are marching on the path of a Sangh-free India, shown by Nitish Kumar himself, but don’t know why Nitish himself has given support to Ram Nath Kovind, a candidate fielded by Sangh itself,” Tejashwi was quoted as saying by News 18 India. Earlier, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav had also attacked Kumar for backing Kovind. Lalu, terming Nitish’ decision a “historic blunder”, took a swipe at the Chief Minister, wondering how Nitish Kumar could claim to be working for a “Sangh-mukt” (RSS-free) country by backing an “RSS man”. “We are still treading the path you had suggested to make the country ‘Sangh-mukt’… don’t know what made Nitish Kumar move away and extend support to an RSS man… Nitish Kumar is committing a big mistake by announcing support to Kovind and not supporting ‘Bihar ki beti’ Meira Kumar.
I will also request LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to support Meira Kumar,” Prasad was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. However, Kumar didn’t take Prasad’s allegation lightly, and hit back saying that opposition had started with a “losing strategy”. He even wondered if this was how it was “preparing for 2019” when the next Lok Sabha polls are due. The Bihar Chief Minister reiterated that support to extended to Kovind because he was “Governor of Bihar and had been completely non-partisan”.
Kumar termed decision to field Meira as “defeatist strategy”.”Why is the daughter of Bihar chosen for a losing cause? Why is the daughter of Bihar not fielded for a winning cause? Why did they not think of Bihar ki beti before? Is this the way the Opposition is preparing for 2019? I would say it is a losing strategy… There is no question of reconsidering our decision. We have taken the decision after proper thought… Kah rahein hain ki aitihasik bhool hai, karne dijiye, chhod dijiye (It is being called a historic blunder. Let me do it, let it be),” Kumar was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.