In the first direct attack on the Bihar Chief Minister by partner RJD, former Union Minister and party vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Thursday said Nitish Kumar’s “selfishness” in “projecting himself as a leader” of a possible anti-BJP front is “weakening secular forces”.
He said Nitish seemed to have decided to “go alone” on trips across the nation without consulting the RJD and other parties.
Tearing into the chief minister’s “new zeal to enforce prohibition and demand a ban on liquor nationally”, Singh, who is close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, told reporters in Patna that Nitish “first took liquor to every household in Bihar and is now on an overdrive to enforce a ban on liquor” to fulfil his “political ambition”.
“Pehle ghar ghar pahunchaya aur ab kud kud kar ke band kara rahe hain… Everyone knows sale of liquor earned maximum revenue for Bihar,” he said.
“Nitish looks to be an obstacle to the possible unity of secular forces for Mission 2019. His selfishness is weakening the unity of the Grand Alliance. He has been projecting himself as a leader,” he added.
Last month, Nitish gave a call for a “Sangh-mukt Bharat” and urged other parties to come together to defeat the BJP. He set out on a campaign from Kerala and has already visited Jharkhand. On Thursday, he addressed a public meeting near Varanasi.
“The JD (U) does not have the capacity to take on the RSS and BJP alone. He tried his luck in Uttar Pradesh (in the 2012 assembly polls), he should tell everyone the result he got there. Taking on Narendra Modi is not within the capacity of Nitish. It is important to know first how secular forces should take on Modi. But there is hardly any meeting (with RJD),” Singh said, adding that “no such thing as a Grand Alliance is functioning in Bihar”.
“If we have to fight the BJP, we have to sit together, forge a front and decide its leader. We should decide a common minimum programme. Koi swayambhu neta itni badi ladaai nahin lad sakta (no self-born leader can fight such a big battle),” he said.
He also sought to know the status of an earlier JD (U) alliance: “Mulayam Singh was declared leader of the unnamed front. What happened to that front?”