Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday ruled out any post-poll tie-up with the Congress saying he was a product of a movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan against former premier Indira Gandhi.
At the same time he sought to woo minorities by stressing on the difference of ideology between his party the Janata Dal (U) and its alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“I am a product of the JP movement against imposition of the Emergency and that does not even come in my line of thinking,” Mr. Kumar said in an interview to CNN-IBN when asked whether he is waiting for an opportunity to leave the BJP alliance.
To a question on what was the similarity between his and the BJP’s school of thought, Mr. Kumar said, “The fact is that ideologies are so different, there is no similarity on many issues, and there cannot be also. In an alliance, the government is made together, elections are fought together, there is a common programme.”
Mr. Kumar said, “The question of having a similar school of thought need not arise if in an alliance there is common minimum programme. That very programme contains minority welfare also and we implement that.”
The JD(U) leader said he had “good relations with the BJP” and have had a “good experience working with them.”
“That’s why I am still working with them and will continue to do so,” Mr. Kumar said.
Mr. Kumar also skirted a question on why Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was not allowed to come to Bihar saying the matter concerned the BJP.
“This is not our matter. It’s the BJP’s. They have to decide. We are nowhere interfering in their decision on who has to be called,” he said.
A number of JD(U) leaders close to Mr. Kumar had earlier openly objected to Mr. Modi’s visit to Bihar during campaigning.
Mr. Kumar also chose not to make any comment on AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
“I am talking about the new generation and not about a youth icon. For me any boy born in a normal family is an icon and I think the new generation is smart and will move ahead. I do not want to talk about an individual,” Mr. Kumar said when asked what he thought about Mr. Gandhi.
He said people of Bihar will break through caste divide and the “victory of development in these elections will be a victory of Bihar.”