In a bid to silence speculation triggered by his alleged snub to Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirti Azad at a meeting in Darbhanga, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday that all was well with the ruling National Democratic Alliance in Bihar.
“The NDA alliance is intact. The coalition has been in existence for a long time. The constituents of a coalition have their own identity and political vision. All the parties have an independent programme, which they further. One has to speak after taking all these factors into consideration,” Mr. Kumar told a press conference.
On the other hand, “generally speaking, no one has seen the future,” he added. “When there is no guarantee on life, nothing can be said about other things.”
Responding to a query about his disagreement with Mr. Azad, Mr. Kumar said the issue had been misrepresented in the media. “I was pained to see reports of Mr. Azad’s statement [about being snubbed] in the papers. Nothing to that effect happened.”
Takes a dig at Lalu
On the recent Rashtriya Janata Dal rally, Mr. Kumar took a dig at Lalu Prasad for using unparliamentary language against Janata Dal (United) leaders. “It is the result of frustration, when you have nothing to show or do. When no one came to the rally, he had no choice but to whip up something,” he remarked.
He refused to comment on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying he would break his silence at an appropriate moment.
However, BJP’s national vice-president Prabhat Jha, while praising Mr. Modi on Monday, said the NDA’s survival depended on Mr. Kumar.
“As stated by the party president and everybody else, there is no doubt that Narendra Modi is the most popular leader. The survival of NDA is more important and Mr. Kumar has a bigger role to play than us,” he told a press conference here.
Invites Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan
In another development, Mr. Kumar has written to Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, inviting them to Bihar.
The gesture reciprocates Pakistan’s invitation to Mr. Kumar last year. Mr. Sharif had received Mr. Kumar at his residence when the Chief Minister toured the neighbouring country last November.
Congratulating Mr. Sharif on his electoral victory, Mr. Kumar wrote, “Your electoral performance augurs well for the furtherance of relations between the two countries… I wish to renew the invitation which I had extended to you in the course of our conversation, to visit the State of Bihar and it would be indeed our honour if you consider accommodating this request on your next visit to India.”
Mr. Kumar expressed anguish at Mr. Khan’s condition after he was injured in an accident. He wished him speedy recovery and also invited him to visit Bihar.