Why is BJP talking caste, if not to divide us: Nitish

  • Ashok Mishra, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Jun 24, 2015 16:42 IST

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar threw another broadside at BJP, saying "But for Janata Dal (U), BJP would not have been what it claims to be, and that its policy of spreading caste hatred to expand its base and reap electoral dividends in the assembly elections would not work to its benefit.

"Its gone to an agenda of rabid casteism", Kumar said, while speaking at the 'Hindustan Bihar Samagam' to discuss the agenda for Bihar 2015 polls, where he shared the dais with ally Lalu Prasad.

"It established a foothold and gained respectability in Bihar only because it had JD(U) for an ally. Before that alliance, it's influence was limited to pockets of southern Bihar, now part of Jharkhand", Kumar said, while calling it the 'worst practitioner' of caste.

"It is now trying to break the society in the name of caste and trying to whip up 'communal frenzy' with an aim to derive votes of a majority section. That is danserous for the country", Kumar said.

He said, "The BJP's strategy of late to invoke caste is destined to reap the dividends of hatred and a divided society at the hustings".

"While the BJP accuses us of being 'casteist', the fact is that BJP's politics is centred around it. It has spared no efforts to organise caste based meetings and conventions. "Hamne jaat ko jamaat mein badalney ki koshish ki, lekin woh jaat ke naam par todatey rahein (We tried to convert caste to an organised society, but they kept on trying to break the society in the name of caste)," he added.

Asking the country to beware of BJP's moves to whip up a communal frenzy, which would destroy the country, he said, "The divide between majority Hindus and minorities, including Muslims, has been created only by a section of people. It is not good for the country. Whenever obscurantist forces become active, the country has faced divisions and separations,".

Kumar, who had severed ties with the BJP on June 16, 2013 over elevation of Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate at the Goa convention, shot down suggestions that BJP had any role or could claim a "share" in the good governance and development ushered in the state since 2005 when the NDA came to power in Bihar.

Mocking BJP for its claims to development, Kumar said, "They claim share in good works even in ministries which were not with BJP ministers."

"The BJP talks about its strike rate. In reality, their strike rate is very poor compared to us. We took a number of initiatives for the welfare of mahadalits, backward classes, women and minorities," he said.

He said, the JD(U) decided to sever ties with the BJP on grounds of principle but the way the saffron outfit started leveling allegations was not good for healthy politics.

"I followed the alliance dharma and took them into confidence in governance. I do not want to reply to them in the language they use these days," he said.

On whether the BJP ever tried to stop him from taking any decision he wanted to take, Kumar said, they were not in position to do so.

"The huge mandate in the 2010 assembly elections was not for the BJP but for the good work done by the government under me. People are well-aware, in whose name the election of 2010 was fought".

"Can they demolish the measures taken by my regime to establish rule of law, create necessary infrastructure and in the field of education and health?. I am not fully satisfied withy what the state has today. If I were to rest on what's done, what would be the inspiration to work further for the development of Bihar?" he said.

also read

Bihar: Bikers drag 15-year-old girl by her scarf, crush her to death
Show comments