Nitish’s terse message to Bihar ally Cong: Don’t need lesson on principles from you
In a consolation to the GA partners, senior JD (U) leaders said, if invited, Nitish Kumar would definitely attend the ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ rally, convened by RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Patna, on August 27.india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 18:32 IST
PATNA Peeved over the Congress’ attack on him for supporting NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, here on Sunday, gave it back in full to its partner in Bihar’s ruling ‘grand alliance’.
“It is you (not me), who is changing principles,” Kumar said, taking a dig at the Congress and its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for accusing him of harbouring many principles. He was addressing the JD(U) state executive committee meeting, presided over by state president Bashistha Narayan Singh, at the party headquarters.
“I am a firm believer in the views of Mahatma Gandhi. But the Congress has never been consistent in treading the path shown by Gandhi or Nehru. We don’t need to take lessons on principles from them,” Kumar is learnt to have said, while venting his displeasure over Azad’s accusation.
Kumar said that he adhered to the alliance dharma and would have attended the June 22 meeting of Opposition leaders, but for Azad’s unprovoked attack on him. “I had tried for Opposition unity twice — in UP and Assam — but it fizzled out, paving the way for BJP’s landslide victory in UP,” he said.
Kumar said he had supported the surgical strike by the India army on the other side of the line of control in Kashmir only after AICC president Sonia Gandhi had done so. “We have stood behind the GST since UPA days and continue to tow that line even today, as it is beneficial for the state”, he said.
“Instead of directing anger at the ‘right’ places, the Congress chose to target me. It is time that everyone understands that we are not blind followers. There is absolutely no need to take lessons on principles from anybody,” he said, asking party leaders to strengthen the JD(U) organisational set-up.
But amid the continuing acrimony, there was a note of consolation for the GA, as well. On being asked whether Nitish Kumar would attend the ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ rally, convened by RJD on August 27, JD (U) leaders said after the meeting “if party president Nitish Kumar is invited, he will definitely attend it.”
This appeared to set to rest speculations over Kumar’s participation, in the wake of the recent spat over the divergent stand taken by the JD(U) on extending support to presidential candidate. Earlier, JD(U) leaders Shyam Rajak and RCP appeared to indicate Kumar might not attend the Lalu show.
Continuing his speech, JD(U) president Kumar advised party spokespersons to stay away from loose talk in the present atmosphere. He also asked JD(U) leaders to filter the entry of unscrupulous elements and time servers into the party fold.
“As for me, I don’t pay heed to what people have to say. My faith in party has led me to my present position,” Kumar said.
While JD(U) sources testified to the strong note of Kumar’s speech, party spokesman Sanjay Singh remained tightlipped about it while briefing the media after the meeting.
Singh said the participants in the meeting endorsed the agenda for raising the number of active party members from 1.47 lakh to 2 lakh, observe birth anniversary functions of socialist leaders like Rammanohar Lohia, JP, Kaproori Thakur, BR Ambedkar at panchayat level, increase the participation of women in the organisation and create awarenessabout his government’s achievements.
Singh, flanked by spokespersons Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, Neeraj Kumar and Ajay Alok, did not confirm that Kumar had attacked the Congress. He, however, explained that while being part of NDA, the JD(U) had supported UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
This time, the JD(U) is with the GA. But it has, once again, not supported the NDA but a ‘person (Kovind)’.
Clearing the air
In a consolation to GA partners, senior JD(U) leaders said, if invited, Nitish would definitely attend the rally convened by RJD chief Lalu Prasad on August 27