Nitish Kumar back-stabbed BJP to fulfil PM ambitions, says Amit Shah

Updated on Sep 24, 2022 06:41 AM IST

“Nitish has not betrayed a party but the mandate which people gave him in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Union home minister Amit Shah said at a party rally in Purnia district.

Amit Shah addresses the gathering during BJP's Jan Bhavna Rally, in Purnia, Bihar. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Amit Shah addresses the gathering during BJP's Jan Bhavna Rally, in Purnia, Bihar. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
ByVijay Swaroop & Aditya Nath Jha, Hindustan Times, Purnia

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar stabbed his erstwhile ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party in the back, and joined hands with the Congress and the Lalu Prasad -led Rashtriya Janata Dal to fulfil his prime ministerial ambitions, Union home minister Amit Shah said in Purnia on Friday, launching a blistering attack on the Janata Dal (United) leader over his exit from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month.

Shah, who is on a two-day visit to the state after the change in government, added that the people of Bihar will “wipe out the Lalu-Nitish duo” in the 2024 general elections and the BJP will come to power in the state in 2025 (when assembly elections are due).

“Nitish has not betrayed a party but the mandate which people gave him in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Shah said at a party rally in Purnia district.

The JD(U) won 43 seats in the 2020 assembly elections in partnership with the BJP, which won 77, and formed the government. However, it split from its ally last month and forged a partnership with the RJD, which has 79 seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly and the Congress (19), to form the government.

Shah said that Kumar has done this before. “He has not only back-stabbed the BJP but also done so to numerous leaders. He (Nitish) did not spare George Fernandes, Janata Party, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav, BJP and late Ram Vilas Paswan,”

His reference is to Kumar’s long partnership with the BJP till 2013, brief alliance with the RJD between 2015 and 2017, and a second breakup with the BJP last month.

“Can Nitish Kumar become the prime minister by switching alliances? Can this government run in Bihar?” he asked at a rally in Purnia that was attended by around hundreds of thousands of people.

The BJP has accused Kumar of “back-stabbing” the party to fulfil his prime ministerial ambition – a charge denied by the chief minister. Kumar, in the past, has said he is not in the race to become the prime minister but is working to play a “positive” role in forging opposition unity against the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

The chief minister is not in favour of any political ideology, Shah claimed. “Nitish ji can leave socialism and go with Lalu ji also, can do casteist politics. Nitish ji can leave socialism and sit with the Left and Congress. He may also leave RJD and join BJP. Nitish has only one policy -- my chair should remain intact,” he said.

Shah also warned RJD chief Lalu Prasad, saying, “Nitish babu might sit in the lap of Congress, leaving you behind”.

Hitting back, JD (U) minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said: “In the last 17 years, curfew was imposed in Bihar only for a day. So, how can you say that law and order is bad in the state? We know that narratives are going to change.”

JD (U) state president Umesh Kushwaha also said: “Shah’s is not going to make any impact in Bihar.”

The crowd that turned up at the rally is a signal of “warning for the Lalu-Nitish government, Shah said. “In 2014, Nitish Kumar only had two Lok Sabha seats. Let the 2024 Lok Sabha elections come, the Bihar public will wipe out the Lalu-Nitish duo.”

“The people of Bihar will give a befitting reply to those indulging in politics, selfishness and power for their benefit,” he added.

The home minister also slammed the law and order situation in the state, alleging there has been an “atmosphere of fear” ever since the Mahagathbandhan government returned to power.

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