Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his ally Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday spoke in different voices on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore and the subsequent terror attack in Pathankot.
While Kumar welcomed Modi’s visit and called it a “good gesture and initiative”, RJD chief Lalu Prasad was critical and lashed out at the central government for its “failure” in Patahankot.
“In my personal opinion, his (Modi’s) visit was right. For the relation with Pakistan to improve and the resolution of controversial issues, it is necessary that the democratic forces there (be engaged)...,” the JD(U) leader said, noting that the internal situation of Pakistan should be understood.
“If the Prime Minister went there on Nawaz Sharif’s birthday or some wedding in his family, I consider it a good gesture. I do not look at it from any other angle. Some people say the visit was pre-planned but this is not an issue. It is a good thing and such an initiative is good,” he told reporters.
Prasad, on the other hand, took a swipe at Modi for the visit, saying, “Only he knows what he talked about or what biryani he ate!”
Targeting the government over the terror attack, the RJD chief said, “BJP people would boast about looking Pakistan in the eye and 56-inch chest. What happened? How did terrorists enter our home?”
Noting that eight persons, including an Army officer, were killed, he said the Modi government had failed in securing the country. “The country is not safe.”
Striking a different note, Kumar said whenever the two countries work to normalise the situation, incidents like these happen and noted that Kargil infiltration occurred after the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Pakistan.
“There are many forces which do not want good relations between the two countries. When a democratically-elected government in Pakistan makes an effort to solve the disputes, many problems are created in the way,” he said.
Kumar said, “When democratic government gains strength, other organisations would lose influence which would pave the way for improvement in ties. This is my personal thinking and has nothing to do with politics.”