Nitish congratulates Modi, Shah for victory, Sharad praises Rahul for ‘great success’

india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 18:57 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna/New Delhi
Gujarat election result,Counting of votes,

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar(PTI Photo)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for winning the assembly elections though rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav praised Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the improved show of his party in Gujarat. (Election results live updates)

The Janata Dal (United) president took a dig at the Congress, saying that while the party was aiming to defeat the BJP in Gujarat, it “ended up losing even in Himachal Pradesh”, where it was in power.

“Congratulations to honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the victory in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. The Congress, which had claimed it would wrest power from the BJP in Gujarat, has ended up losing even Himachal Pradesh,” Kumar tweeted in Hindi.

An official release issued said the chief minister spoke to Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the morning over phone and extended his greetings on the poll victory to them.

Once considered a potential political rival of Modi, Kumar now maintains a cordial relationship with the prime minister, following the formation of a JD(U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar in July.

BJP leader and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted that the “people of Gujarat have put their stamp on GST and demonetisation”. “Gabbar has been demonetised in Gujarat. The victory in both the states is a result of effective organisational skills of PM and party president and the hard work of BJP workers and state leaderships,” he tweeted.

Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey, who was incharge of election affairs in Himachal, dubbed the victories as an endorsement of BJP’s development politics. Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai and senior BJP leader Jameshaid Ashraf described it as a victory of meticulous planning and execution by Narendraa Modi and Amit Shah.

Former CM and HAM-S founder Jitan Ram manjhi said the results were outcome of pro-poor work of the government.

The JD(U) faction, led by Yadav, had contested four seats in Gujarat in alliance with the Congress and won two. The rebel JD(U) leader said in a statement the BJP had barely managed to hold on to power in the state and claimed that the people of Gujarat would soon be very unhappy.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that the Congress has achieved a great success in improving its tally in the Gujarat election. I would congratulate Rahul Gandhi for his untiring efforts,” Yadav said.

He said people of Gujarat may have given a thin mandate to the BJP, but they will soon get disenchanted, as are the people across the country. “I also congratulate Chhotobhai Vasava, our candidate from Bhartiya Tribal Party, who could win two seats out of four.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who batted strongly for the Congress all through and predicted its victory in Gujarat , however, did not come out with any tweet till late in the evening. Sources said that he would speak only after the final outcome, as the difference was not much.

His son and leader of opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, usually quick on Twitter, too, remained off it.

RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari, however, said that the Congress had shown marked improvement, while BJP’s performance had dipped in its own stronghold despite frantic efforts, which was an indication of people losing faith in the present dispensation.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 16:54 IST