‘When Captain is hitting 4 & 6’: Sushil Modi response to call to replace Nitish Kumar
Sushil Kumar Modi said the NDA in Bihar will fight the next assembly elections under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.Updated: Sep 12, 2019 05:39 IST
Bihar’s deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday brushed aside former Union minister and a member of the Bihar legislative council Sanjay Paswan’s suggestion that chief minister Nitish Kumar should make way for a leader from the saffron party to head the state government .
“@NitishKumar is the Captain of NDA in Bihar & will remain its Captain in next assembly elections in 2020 also. When Captain is hitting 4 & 6 & defeating rivals by inning where is the Q of any change.” Kumar’s deputy and BJP leader Sushil Modi tweeted.
@NitishKumar is the Captain of NDA in Bihar & will remain its Captain in next assembly elections in 2020 also.When Captain is hitting 4 & 6 & defeating rivals by inning where is the Q of any change.— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) September 11, 2019
Paswan had ruffled the Janata Dal (United), the BJP’s coalition partner and ally with his suggestion on Monday.
The BJP’s spokesperson in Bihar, Nikhil Anand also said that the party has formed the government under Nitish Kumar’s leadership for the development of the state. “There is no question or dispute on the decision of the central leadership. Airing public opinion or personal views is entirely different from official stand of the party,” he said.
In July, the BJP issued a notice to another party MLC Sachidanad Rai for his statements against Kumar as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for undermining the sanctity of NDA alliance.
On Monday, Paswan said that Kumar “should now focus on central politics as people support PM Narendra Modi’s decisions and vote for him and not for Nitish model.” JD (U) national general secretary Shyam Rajak hit back strongly and termed BJP MLC’s statement as ‘faltu (useless)’ and said that the PM on record praised Kumar’s social and developmental initiatives.
But the JD (U)-BJP spat gave opposition RJD the opportunity to dare the chief minister to “contradict” the message that BJP leaders were trying to convey by-reopening the chief ministerial debate.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, in a tweet, asked “Is is not true that honourable Nitish Kumar got votes in the name of PM Modi without releasing his party’s manifesto and got 16 of his party leaders elected as MPs on BJP manifesto (in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll)…Is it not true that he has been supporting the BJP on every Bill?..then how come he is different.”
The standoff between the two important constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is not new and has been on the rise ever since Kumar turned down “one seat offer” for joining the Union cabinet saying that he favoured proportionate representation and was not interested in having “symbolic presence”.
In another face-off, the BJP’s top leadership had to step in to diffuse Giriraj Singh’s statement against Nitish Kumar attending an iftar after the 2019 LS polls from snowballing into a showdown.
It turned ugly later in July when BJP leaders took umbrage over a letter by Bihar Police’s special branch seeking details of RSS activists and their activities in the state.
While Sanjay Paswan’s statement marks the latest skirmish between the two parties, no BJP leader in Bihar was willing to say anything on record before assessing the extent of the fallout, although party sources say the statement does amount to an attack on the alliance and the chief minister.
Moreover, Paswan does not fall in the category of habitual offender (in terms of crossing the party line) and his call to Kumar for reciprocating BJP gesture (of entrusting his CM’s post for 15 years) can at best be categorized as his personal stand.
And yet, the party’s growing confidence to carry forward its agenda and the target to emerge as the single largest party in the 2020 state assembly elections indicate that the days of “double engine” government is numbered, said a BJP leader who not willing to be named.
“BJP workers nurse a dream to have a BJP led government for turning around the fortunes of the state,” he said.
First Published: Sep 11, 2019 16:34 IST