Kumar, who also heads the Janata Dal (United), made this comment with a broad smile playing on his lips and both his hands joined together in response to frantic queries from scribes at a feast organised to mark the Makar Sankranti festival.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday refused to comment on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act urging journalists not to ask him questions on the auspicious Makar Sankranti day on issues about which people may have different opinions that may lead to squabbles. Kumar, who also heads the Janata Dal (United), made this comment with a broad smile playing on his lips and both his hands joined together in response to frantic queries from scribes at a feast organised to mark the Makar Sankranti festival.
“Do not rake up the issues on an auspicious day, about which people may have different opinions and expression which may lead to squabbles”, the chief minister said while he was treating himself to curd, flattened rice, jaggery and ’tilkut’ (a sweetmeat made of sesame). Requesting the journalists to enjoy the feast and write about the state-wide human chain scheduled on January 19 instead, he said, “I urge you to take part in it as well”. The chief minister was flanked by top leaders of the NDA and seated next to him was his deputy and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
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They were at the residence of state JD(U) president and Rajya Sabha member Vashishtha Narayan Singh, whose annual ‘dahi-chura’ feast has become a much-anticipated event since it had provided clues in the past few years about dissidents from other political groups willing to join the ruling party. All eyes were, therefore, on RJD MLA Faraz Fatami when he arrived at Singh’s residence.
Fatami said, “I have come here upon invitation as a matter of courtesy and no political meaning should be attached to it.” On the CAA-NRC controversy, he said the Bihar chief minister has already made things very clear on the floor of the Assembly and after that there is no need for stretching things further. Kumar on Monday had said a country-wide implementation of National Register of Citizens was “needless” and had “no justification”.
Asked about RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s state-wide tour against the contentious measures from Thursday, Fatami said, “I think the honourable leader of the opposition should do a rethink”. Fatami’s father Mohd Ashraf Fatami, a former Union minister, had snapped his ties with the RJD ahead of the Lok Sabha polls last year when he took exception to Tejashwi Yadav ordering his suspension from the party after he filed his nomination papers from Madhubani after being denied ticket on his home turf of Darbhanga.
As per the seat-sharing arrangements in the five-party Grand Alliance, Madhubani fell in the kitty of fledgeling Vikassheel Insaan Party, which lost the seat by a staggering margin of 4.5 lakh votes. Fatami withdrew his nomination papers after quitting the party saying he did not want to benefit the BJP by splitting the votes of rebel Congress candidate Shakil Ahmad. A few months after the elections in which the NDA won 39 out of 40 seats and the RJD drew a blank, Fatami joined the JD(U).
In 2018, former state Congress chief and MLC Ashok Choudhary had similarly turned up at the JD(U) leader’s dahi-chura feast and he ended up splitting the party and merging the splinter group comprising two fellow legislators – with the ruling party. Last year, another former Congress leader Ram Jatan Sinha was seen at the feast and he too joined the JD(U) a few months later.