Refuting Nitish Kumar's charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was behind the ongoing political crisis in Bihar, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the situation arose over JD(U)'s internal squabbles.
"Janata Dal (U)—the name is 'united' but, as usual, they are divided. There is already a 'war' going on in Janata Parivar. They are divided and not united. The Centre has no role in that," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu told reporters here.
"I would like to make it very clear. Modiji has no role at all. But, Nitish is blaming Modi and the Centre for their (JD-U's) failures," he said.
"Who asked you (Nitish) to resign from the chief minister's post and who asked you to make Jitan Ram Manjhi the Bihar chief minister, and why are you (Nitish) asking him (Manjhi) to resign now? They want to blame Modiji and the Centre. They should stop the disinformation campaign," he said.
"You (Nitish) wanted to play a drama for some time and you boasted that you wanted to make a Dalit (Manjhi) the chief minister. Now you want to remove a Dalit as the CM and you want to blame Modi. It is (all due to) your internal problems and your internal squabbles," Naidu alleged, adding that "this infighting started in JD(U) and they became divided and wanted to replace Manjhi".
Referring to JD(U)'s charge over the picking of the date when Manjhi is to face the trust vote in the Bihar Assembly, Naidu said that February 20 had been earlier fixed for the opening of the session of the House and the governor had decided to hold the exercise on that day.
"The Bihar governor (Kesari Nath Tripathi) said the Constitution is very clear, that the trial of strength has to take place on the floor of the Assembly. When Assembly has already been convened, then why is this Delhi drama of parading MLAs before the President?" Naidu questioned.
Asking JD(U) to get the issue settled in the Assembly, the Union Urban Development Minister said, "The Assembly is to meet on (February) 20. Have the trial of strength and let the House decide if you have majority, and if you want to replace Manjhi by yourself then do it... it is your choice. We have no role in that at all.
"First, they staked claim to form government and now they want to be recognised as the main opposition party," he said, alleging that the corrupt, communal and casteist elements were coming together against the BJP.
"They want to attack this government. BJP has to now prepare itself to face this challenge and make efforts in this regard," Naidu added.