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Nitish Kumar at receiving end of non-NDA parties, Sena too joins attack

The Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, mocks at the history of see-sawing ties between Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned how would the two leaders explain the venom they spewed against one another in the past years.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 12:13 IST
Hindustan Times, Patna
Nitish Kumar,Bihar chief minister,Narendra Modi
A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at programme in Patna. Opposition parties are criticising Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for resigning and taking oath again in less than 24 hours. (AP Dube/HT File Photo)

Opposition parties have sharpened their attack against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar after he dumped the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance (GA) and joined hands with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

But, what has come as a surprise is the salvo against Kumar’s move from within the NDA.

The Shiv Sena, NDA constituent and one of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest allies, has mocked at the history of see-sawing ties between Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned how would the two leaders explain the venom they spewed against one another in the past years.

“Nitish accused Prime Minister Modi of being non-secular. He also accused the BJP of functioning according to the RSS ideology. Nitish even went on saying that when ‘Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat he killed Muslims, so if Modi ji is nominated as the prime ministerial candidate my conscience will now allow me to be a part of NDA’,” Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

Read more: Now-friend, now-foe: How Nitish Kumar’s alliances helped keep him ahead of the curve

Kumar resigned as the chief minister and ended his Janata Dal(United)’s two-year alliance with the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress on July 26 over corruption charges against his deputy and RJD chief’s son Tejashwi Yadav.

The 66-year-old leader returned as chief minister for the sixth time in less than 18 hours with the support of the BJP, the party he had broken ties with in 2013 after it picked Modi as the PM candidate.

Kumar’s decision to end the so-called grand alliance not only dramatically altered the political scenario in India’s third most populous state but also dealt a blow to the opposition parties looking to replicate the Bihar model to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The Sena also took potshots at the BJP, saying in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case Kumar spoke against the saffron outfit so how would the latter forget such sharp criticism.

This is not the first time that the Sena has targeted the BJP. Recently, party president Uddav Thackeray said Modi government’s ‘achhe din’ was only on paper.

UPA constituent the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) dubbed Kumar’s resignation and his swearing-in again within 24 hours as pre-planned.

“The resignation of Nitish Kumar and formation of the government within 24 hours clearly indicates that some sort of planning had been done previously. Nitish Kumar had made up his mind to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” NCP leader Nawab Malik said in Mumbai.

Another NCP leader Tariq Anwar said it was a deceit with the people of Bihar. “The people of Bihar had given a mandate against the BJP but now he (Nitish) has formed the government along with the BJP. This is not political honesty,” he said.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the Bihar episode had brought Kumar’s “dubious character” to the fore.

“Every few years Shri Nitish Kumar takes oath as CM from a different alliance. It is quite a record. Straightforward political opportunism,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yetchury tweeted.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh said Kumar was not a chief minister. “He has become Modi and Amit Shah’s watchman,” Singh said.

Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh said the fall of the grand alliance in Bihar proved that an alliance without an agenda would not work.

Senior Biju Janata Dal leader Tathagata Satpathy said the change of stand midway makes citizens doubt the integrity of politicians. Kumar could have gone to people to seek a fresh mandate, he said.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 11:08 IST