Nitish says attended Modi luncheon because of Mauritius PM, stresses Oppn unity
The JD-U president was in the capital to attend a lunch hosted by Modi in honour of visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.india Updated: May 27, 2017 23:39 IST
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, a day after he skipped a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
After the meeting, Kumar rejected suggestions of growing bonhomie between him and Modi.
“There is a grand alliance between RJD, JD(U) and Congress. We are running a government there (Bihar),” Kumar said, stressing it was his duty to raise Bihar’s problems with the central government.
He said it was unfair to compare the luncheon meeting organised by Gandhi on Friday with that hosted by Modi. He added that it was “always clear” that JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav would go for the opposition meeting .
“What is the link between the two (meeting with Modi and Sonia’s luncheon)? One was a political meeting and I’ve already met Soniaji on April 20. She called me and...discussion happened over unity of opposition parties.”
“Opposition is united on the issue of presidential election,” Kumar told reporters.
The JD-U president was in the capital to attend a lunch hosted by Modi in honour of visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
“Half of the population in Mauritius is of Bihari origin. We have an emotional connect with Mauritius so I thought it is appropriate to accept the invitation,” Kumar said.
There has been intense speculation about a tie-up between the JD(U) and the Centre’s ruling BJP, something Kumar has repeatedly refuted. The JD(U) had broken its 17-year alliance with the BJP in 2013 after Modi was declared the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Such conjecture has grown following the Supreme Court’s decision to try RJD chief Lalu Prasad in four fodder scam cases and fresh allegations of corruption against him and his family members.
Chief minister Kumar has maintained a silence on the allegations against the RJD supremo and his kin, merely saying it was for the central government to look into them.
Kumar, who heads the JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition government in Bihar, did not attend Friday’s opposition meeting that was attended by several top leaders to discuss a consensus presidential candidate. He later blamed the political speculation on “misinterpretation”.
In Saturday’s meeting, Kumar urged the Prime Minister to send a team of experts before the arrival of monsoon to study the situation of flooding in his state. He handed over a letter to PM Modi, demanding special grants for Bihar.
First Published: May 27, 2017 17:50 IST