Other States

Nitish Kumar refutes Sushil Modi’s claim that he wanted to be Vice-President

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav at an event to pay tributes at Shaheed Smarak in Patna on August 11, 2022.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav at an event to pay tributes at Shaheed Smarak in Patna on August 11, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn-in as Bihar Chief Minister for eighth time, he laughed off at senior State BJP leader and party Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi’s claim that he wanted to become Vice-President of India and for this had approached BJP. “Absolutely bogus”, quipped Mr Kumar.

“It’s absolutely bogus…what a joke. I have had no such desire. Let them talk as much about me as they can but I’m not concerned who is saying what. He (Sushil Modi) may have got space in media speaking against me but I’ll not mind”, said Mr Kumar while speaking to media persons in Patna.

Earlier on August 10, senior state BJP leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi, who has been considered close to Mr Kumar in state’s political circle, had claimed that some JD-U leaders had approached BJP to make Nitish Kumar Vice-President of India. “Did they (BJP leaders) know how our party supported their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates in poll? We’re waiting for the elections to be over and then we convened our meeting (to form the mahagathbandhan government)”, Mr Kumar added.

Mr Kumar also scoffed at BJP MLA Nitin Nabin’s allegations that JD(U) quit NDA as it was unhappy with the probe initiated recently into activities of Popular Front of India (PFI) in the State. “It’s all nonsense. Let them say whatever they want to say but I donot have anything to say”, Mr Kumar said.

When asked about cabinet expansion, Mr Kumar said “it will be done any day after August 15”. Sources in the government told The Hindu that the new council of ministers is likely to have about 32 ministers against maximum limit of 36 in total 243-members of state assembly. The RJD will have 16 ministerial berths while, JD(U) about 13 and Congress 4 along with one from Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular). The Left parties with 16 MLAs, are yet to decide on whether to become ministers in the cabinet or to support the government from outside. The special session of state assembly has been called on August 24 and 55 legislators of mahagathbandhan have moved no-confidence motion against current Speaker Vijay Kumar Singh of BJP.

Mr Kumar, though, also reiterated that there was conspiracy going on to split his party JD(U) and even party leaders from different states had alerted him about this. Asked if a Union minister who was from his party (RCP Singh) behind all this conspiracy, Mr Kumar said, “I donot know who was behind it but the one who was working on their behalf (RCP Singh) has been shown the door”, added Nitish Kumar.

The RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav who too took oath along with Mr Kumar on August 10 to become Deputy chief minister of the state again, asserted that his new government would “deliver” to the promise of providing 10 lakh jobs to unemployed youths of the state in days to come. Mr Yadav was Deputy CM in previous mahagathbandhan government –led by chief minister Nitish Kumar from 2015-2017. “I had discussions with chief minister Nitish Kumar over this and he already has issued instructions to officials to accord high priority to job creation”, Mr Yadav said. “There are several vacant posts in different departments and we’ll fill up once the trust vote is done on the floor of the House”, he added.

When asked about BJP’s claim that the new mahagathbandhan government would fall soon because of internal contradictions, Mr Yadav reiterated, “we (RJD and JD-U) all are socialists at heart. We may fight with each other but we’ll stay together”. “The term mahagathbandhan was coined when Nitish Kumar ji had joined hands with Lalu Prasad ji. We’re happy that he is back with us”, said Mr Yadav, who is also RJD MLA from Raghopur in Vaishali district.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 9:48:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nitish-kumar-refutes-sushil-modis-claim-that-he-wanted-to-be-vice-president/article65757389.ece