Calling into question Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “secular credentials” BJP national general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said on Thursday Mr. Kumar was hungry for power.

He taunted Mr. Kumar for his Modi-phobia. “Why does Nitish Kumar fear and hate Narendra Modi so much?”

“It was always difficult for Mr. Kumar to stay out of power. He has lost his credibility in Bihar. In 2005, when there was a disagreement over making him the Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi [ex-deputy CM] backed him,” Mr. Rudy said.

After the Gujarat riots, when Mr. Narendra Modi came to power, Mr. Kumar had said it was a verdict against the Congress. In 2004, when CDs of the carnage were being circulated in Bihar’s Kishanganj district during elections, Mr. Kumar complained to the Election Commission. He also referred to Mr. Modi as “a dynamic leader” from the backward caste. Moreover, after the Godhra train tragedy, he did not go to the site although he was the Railway Minister. “This questions his secular credentials,” Mr. Rudy said.

The BJP leader criticised Mr. Kumar for taking “a certificate of secularism” from the Congress. “What happened to the secular credentials under the Congress when thousands of Sikhs were massacred in 1984?”

Although Mr. Kumar severed ties with the BJP only recently, he was plotting to break away after the 2010 Assembly election itself. “Since 2010, he has been making efforts to take the strength of 115 MLAs to 122 [majority needed to form a government in Bihar]. He broke the Lok Janshakti Party and took two MLAs. Then he took the lone Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA,” BJP State president Mangal Pandey said.

Mr. Kumar is likely to be the flavour of the party meeting in Patna, where BJP president Rajnath Singh will address workers and office-bearers from Bihar.

The BJP is not taking the break-up lying down. From June 29 to July 2 party workers will conduct meetings in all the 141 Assembly segments, where the JD(U) contested in 2010 to tell the people “how the JD(U) betrayed the people’s mandate,” Mr. Pandey said.

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