After Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, it was Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s turn to clarify that he did not “harbour ambitions of becoming the prime minister”.
Kumar said on Monday, “My sole ambition is to serve the people of Bihar and respect their mandate. I am physically and mentally utilising my full capacity to serve Bihar. Only that will make a difference to the fortunes of the state, consequently India.”
The Janata Dal (United) leader maintained he was never in the running for the prime minister’s post, even though some party leaders had suggested his name as a possible candidate for the top job. Kumar has advised his party colleagues not to embarrass him. Kumar, however, emphatically said his alliance partner – the BJP – was yet to announce its PM candidate officially. His statement laid to rest speculation of the JD(U) accepting Modi as BJP’s PM candidate.
“As and when the BJP announces its prime ministerial candidate and the decision is communicated to us, then only would it be appropriate for us in the JD(U) to comment,” he said. He added it was irrelevant to comment on the issue at this point in time.
Declining to comment on Modi’s three-day fast, Kumar said every individual, political leader or chief minister had the freedom to organise a personal or public programme of his choice in a state. “It is his personal programme. It doesn’t call for unnecessary comment.”
Kumar, however, clarified there was no alliance in Gujarat between the BJP and the JD(U). “We are in alliance in Bihar and we have a cordial relationship,” he said.
Kumar’s remarks come a day after JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari hit out at Modi. “When he (Narendra Modi) can’t do justice to five crore people in a state, how can he do justice to 125 crore in the country?”