No PM ambitions, but will work for Oppn unity: Nitish

Published on Aug 12, 2022 09:17 PM IST

Kumar also made light of apprehensions of “misuse” of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate against the new dispensation in Bihar, which has achieved power after ousting the BJP, and said “those habituated to misuse will face public ire”.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar interacts with the media in Patna on Friday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar interacts with the media in Patna on Friday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
By, Patna

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday maintained he had no prime ministerial ambitions but said he was looking forward to play a “positive” role in forging opposition unity against the ruling NDA at the Centre.

Kumar also made light of apprehensions of “misuse” of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate against the new dispensation in Bihar, which has achieved power after ousting the BJP, and said “those habituated to misuse will face public ire”.

“Please do not ask me such questions, I have said many times that I harbour no such ambitions. I want to serve my state,” Kumar asserted, with folded hands, replying to journalists who asked whether the people of Bihar could one day see him as the prime minister.

However, when asked what role he saw for himself in forging unity among disjointed opposition parties, Kumar said, “Our role will be positive. I have been receiving many telephone calls. It is my wish that all come together (against the BJP-led NDA). You will see some action in the days to come.”

To a query about the fear of ED and CBI being unleashed on the new ruling dispensation, he said, “I have no such fears. Remember one thing, even if a habit has been formed of misuse (of agencies), those indulging in the same will be closely watched by the people.”

The JD(U) leader was also asked whether he would be going to Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to campaign for the assembly elections scheduled later this year.

“You will get to know about that in due course,” Kumar said.

Asked if he agreed to his deputy Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s apprehensions about a likely cut in central assistance in the wake of change of government in the state, Kumar said, “Everything is prescribed in the Constitution about the rights of the states. The claims of the states from the revenue collected by the Centre is clearly laid down. If there is any problem in that, the Centre would have to do the answering. What Centre must do is all laid down. We will see how things go from here.”

On yet another hooch tragedy reported from Saran, Kumar said he has been reiterating it time and again that people should give up drinking and a large majority have. “Some unscrupulous elements are, however, always on the lookout to push spurious liquor. People should be wary of them. Taking spurious liquor is akin to inviting trouble. Why should one take such a risk despite knowing the fatal consequences? The administration is doing its job, but my advice is to the people to stop consuming liquor,” he said.

Defends Z-plus security to Tejashwi

Kumar also defended his new government’s decision to provide “Z-plus” security cover to his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, which was criticised by BJP. “He is the deputy CM with obvious security needs. Why should he not get the cover? They (the BJP) speak nonsense,” he said.

Reacting to the decision to provide Z-plus security cover for Yadav, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Modi had tweeted, “I was never given a bulletproof car, not Z-plus security either. With minimum security, I served the public for a long time from the government residence at Polo Road.” “Why do they need so much security? People are now scared that they have come to power,” he added.

The ‘Z-plus’ security comprises a pilot, an escort, a close protection team, house guard, spotters, search and frisking staff, among others in the form of several plain-clothes security personnel and armed commandos, a senior police official said.

Yadav has also been provided with a bulletproof car.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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