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I am as good as any PM candidate: Nitish Kumar

Mammen Matthew, Hindustan Times  Bettiah, March 06, 2014
First Published: 14:32 IST(6/3/2014) | Last Updated: 10:10 IST(7/3/2014)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said he was as good a prime ministerial candidate as others who are being promoted in the country adding that parties, that have already declared candidates for the post, may find they have lost the plot when the results of the Lok Sabha elections are declared.

"What is wrong with me?" Kumar quipped, while talking to the media in Bettiah, 150 km northwest of the state capital, during his Sankalp Yatra in Champaran.

"I think most candidates for the post, in the ring already, may not be as suitable as me. Many never have had parliamentary experience. I have experience of working both at the Centre and in the state. Yes, the only qualification I do not have is of talking big. I am a doer and do not tom-tom achievements as some do all the time," Kumar told television channels NDTV and ETV Bihar at Bettiah in West Champaran district.

Kumar's change of stand from ruling out his candidature for the PM's post last year and putting himself firmly back in the ring, seems to have been triggered off by the BJP's aggressive campaign mantra suggesting that "then why vote for him" and lose a chance to elect Modi at the Centre.

A miffed Kumar had himself raised this point at a media conference asking,"If the same pollsters and psephologists say that 63% of Bihar people rate my administration to be good, why would not they vote for me?"

He had condemned the BJP's "negative campaign" over his "non-availability" for the PM's post too.

Kumar, tried to wipe clean the state on the issue on Thursday, saying, "The parties tom-tomming that they are already there (winning the elections) would see how and where they fall."

He said he was sure the Third Front would turn out to be the First Front and all that is in store is a hung Parliament.

"I do not see, how could any one party win it. There is no way," he emphasised.

He also answered a question about whether prime ministerial aspirants within the Third Front would play spoilsport and whether he sees himself as a candidate in a split-mandate scenario.

"Yes, there are candidates and candidates. Every person running a state is a candidate. Every non-BJP, non-Congress chief minister has a strategy in place and everybody interprets the political scenario in their own context and variously. Our understanding is, that we all fight singly in our own states to the best of our abilities and post poll, we will unite our strength to strengthen India. That is when, a programme based agenda and the leader would be finalised," he said.

"If the people of Bihar can understand that no outsider can strengthen Bihar and get them the special state status and strengthen the JD(U)'s hands, then anything can happen," Kumar said.

He also trashed poll surveys, which have predicted a huge BJP show, saying, "If that were so, why have the polls. One can just declare the results".

He added: "I can say that all poll surveys will be proved wrong. We have a mass base here. There can be no sweep for any ambitious party for in Bihar, it is work that matters".

He also firmly ruled out the suggestion that should the BJP-led NDA win the polls, he may opt to support it, while adding, that the JD(U) would not join the Congress-led grouping either.

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