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RSS is like Supreme Court for BJP: Nitish Kumar on quota row

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday announced the list of 242 candidates for the Grand Alliance on the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of assembly elections.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2015 22:59 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times
Nitish Kumar,BJP,Bihar
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses a press conference in Patna. (ANI Photo)

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday attacked the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for allegedly trying to override reservation norms and called the Sangh the “Supreme Court of the BJP”.

He said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was trying to override the constitutional provision of reservations to backward classes by suggesting that a committee should look into the need and time limit of providing job quotas.

“The RSS chief has no belief in constitutional provisions. This is why he wants to form an elite committee as an extra-constitutional body to take a re-look at reservations. This is a dangerous thought and we oppose it,” said Kumar, after releasing the list of 242 candidates out of 243 assembly seats of the Grand Alliance comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress.

He said the reservation provisions have been settled by a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court and cannot be reversed.

Responding to the allegations, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said, “Nitish said RSS is like the Supreme Court of the BJP. For us, people are the SC. But Nitish is answerable to two SCs, Lalu Prasad and Sonia Gandhi.”

While releasing the candidates’ list, Kumar rejected suggestions of any rift in the Grand Alliance, asserting it was the NDA that looked like a divided house in seat allotments. “If the NDA allies want to play second fiddle to BJP, it is their problem. In our alliance, we have done seat sharing, seat selection and choice of candidates in a unanimous manner. Laluji asked me to release the list,” he said.

He also took potshots at the Centre for deliberately “fudging” data to give Bihar the 21st position in the list of states preferred for doing business.

“I will write to the finance minister to lodge my protest. The report prepared in association with World Bank was made in a unilateral way without giving much time to Bihar to give its own data,” he said, adding he had received unsatisfactory reply to his letters on the points raised by him over the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by PM Modi.

“It is repackaging. I pity BJP president Amit Shah’s claim that Bihar has got three times more than its annual budget in the package. Our annual budget is Rs 1.20 lakh crore and the package is Rs 1.25 lakh crore. That shows how good the BJP is at juggling figures,” he said.

Read: Will make Nitish CM, won’t play spoilsport to JD(U), says Lalu

Full coverage: Battle for Bihar

First Published: Sep 23, 2015 13:01 IST