On PM Modi's ‘polarisation in politics’ remark, Nitish hits back: ‘I don't…’

Updated on Sep 02, 2022 02:14 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday slammed the opposition saying that action against the corrupt has caused “polarisation in national politics”.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. (Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan, New Delhi

The war of words between the new ruling coalition in Bihar - headed by the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal - and the now-opposition Bharatiya Janata Party was renewed Friday after chief minister Nitish Kumar hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his 'polarisation in national politics' remark. Speaking to reporters, Nitish laughed off the PM's statement and referred to a former prime minister, the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Nitish Kumar said he had done a lot of work when Vajpayee was the PM at the head of a BJP national government and was continuing to do a lot of work now in Bihar.

"When Vajpayee was prime minister, I got the opportunity to work with him. He had taken care of everyone. Now, when I have got the opportunity to work in Bihar, I am doing the same. I have been working for several years, therefore if someone at the Centre says something, I don't pay any attention," he said with a smile on his face.

Nitish Kumar - at loggerheads with the BJP since he walked out of an alliance that secured his chief minister's position in the 2020 election - also refuted claims of 'polarisation in politics'.

"Nobody is shielding the corrupt. They (the BJP) should think about what's happening in other states," the chief minister said.

Modi - who earlier today commissioned the country's first made-in-India aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant - had launched a sharp verbal attack Thursday. Speaking outside the Cochin International Airport, he said action against corrupt people had led to a new polarisation in national politics, with some openly trying to save those facing charges.

"I had said from the Red Fort on 15th August that the time has come to fight decisively against corruption. However, what we see is that as we take action against the corrupt persons, there has emerged a new polarisation in national politics," Modi said.

Nitish Kumar's latest salvo at Modi comes after his meeting with Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) in Patna on Tuesday. The two held a joint press conference and threw blows at the centre, with KCR calling for a 'BJP-mukt Bharat (BJP-free India)'.

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