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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Congress must set an alternative agenda, reactive politics won’t work: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

The advice came a day after the JD (U) national president and Bihar chief minister advised the Congress, his Bihar ruling alliance partner, to desist from lecturing him on the issue of principles.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2017 23:54 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar speaks to the press in Patna on Monday.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar speaks to the press in Patna on Monday.(PTI Photo)

The Congress must take the lead in establishing a different narrative for the people, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar said on Monday, calling on its alliance partner to do more to connect with the masses rather than rely merely on the unity among political parties.

The comments by the Bihar chief minister comes a day after he is reported to have taken a dig at the Congress, calling it “responsible for the mess in the opposition camp” in the context of the Presidential elections.

Kumar’s JD(U) has supported the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, a move that was seen by many as a significant blow the opposition’s unity as parties gear up to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2019 elections.

“I have said it earlier that thrashing out an alternative agenda will be more effective than the emphasis on unity or the debate on who will be the face of the opposition in 2019. Reactive politics cannot serve a purpose beyond a point,” Kumar said, while talking to reporters after his Lok Samvad weekly programme here.

He said the Congress, being the biggest party in the opposition block, must take the lead. “For achieving opposition unity it is important to keep on pursuing an alternative agenda, which will offer a different narrative for people on social and economic issues and help parties join hands for a common cause,” he said.

Kumar, the JD(U) president, however, said that he has nothing to add on senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks against him. “The views aired by leaders, or issues discussed in internal party should not be interpreted out of context,” he said, after Azad appeared to have accused of political opportunism.

Kumar also said that the grand alliance — a pact between his party, the Congress and Lalu Prasad’s RJD — was committed to implementing its agenda of good governance.

“A reactive narrative won’t work as key issues like problems of farmers get lost in the noise. They don’t get to know of an alternative action plan,” he said.

He said the success of an alternative narrative was demonstrated in the resounding success of the grand alliance during the 2014 assembly polls in Bihar. “We approached people with a clear agenda — a development programme on the back of demonstrated achievement and a united face. It clicked with them more in comparison to reactive politics of the opposition. Rest is history,” Kumar said.

First Published: Jul 03, 2017 19:51 IST