In the face of a strident attack from Narendra Modi at the Hunkar rally here on Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar refrained from rebutting the accusations made against him by his Gujarat counterpart.
In the wake of the serial blasts in Patna, Mr. Kumar said the time was not appropriate for a political counter-attack. “I will give my reply at a later point; not today. It’s not the right time. This press conference has been called to address the incident of blasts. That does not mean I don’t have anything to say. I will surely give my comments later.”
Mr. Kumar, who has in the past lost no opportunity to take a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, was slated to attend a programme in Munger and had to rush back to the city after the blasts.
The ruling Janata Dal (United) is scheduled to hold a two-day camp in Rajgir, where discussions on political manoeuvres for 2014 Lok Sabha are to take place.
Asked if the multiple blasts, coming just three months after the Bodh Gaya blasts, were the result of a political conspiracy, Mr. Kumar denied any such connection.
“Where is the political conspiracy in this? Bihar has never had a tradition of violence and such attacks have never taken place before,” he said.
Although political rivalries existed in Bihar, the State had a tradition of giving democratic space to opposing political ideologies. The choice of day time and the rally venue of the attacks were a serious concern for the government, he said.
Mr. Kumar vowed to bring the perpetrators of the blast to book. He said the State had undertaken the best possible steps for the BJP rally.