Other States

No PM ambitions but ready to play role in forging Opposition unity, says Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar interacts with the media, in Patna, on August 12, 2022

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar interacts with the media, in Patna, on August 12, 2022 | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on August 12, 2022 maintained that he had no prime ministerial ambitions but said he was looking forward to play a “positive” role in forging opposition unity against the ruling NDA at the Centre.

Mr. Kumar also made light of apprehensions of “misuse” of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the new dispensation in Bihar, which has achieved power after ousting the BJP, and said “those habituated to misuse will face public ire”.

“Please do not ask me such questions, I have said many times that I harbour no such ambitions. I want to serve my state,” Mr. Kumar asserted, with folded hands, replying to journalists who asked whether the people of Bihar could one day see him as the prime minister.

However, when asked what role he saw for himself in forging unity among disjointed opposition parties, Mr. Kumar said, “Our role will be positive. I have been receiving many telephone calls. It is my wish that all come together (against the BJP-led NDA). You will see some action in the days to come.”

To a query about the fear of ED and CBI being unleashed on the new ruling dispensation, he said, “I have no such fears. Remember one thing, even if a habit has been formed of misuse (of agencies), those indulging in the same will be closely watched by the people.”

The JD(U) leader was also asked whether he would be going to Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to campaign for the assembly elections scheduled later this year. “You will get to know about that in due course”, Mr. Kumar added.

'Jungle raj' has returned to Bihar, claims BJP

The BJP alleged that "jungle raj" has returned to Bihar with the RJD-JD(U) government assuming power as it cited a string of murders and other crimes to attack the alliance.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference that several people, including journalists, have been killed and a temple priest was beheaded since the two parties joined hands to form the government after the Janata Dal (United) snapped ties with the saffron party.

He also cited cases of sexual assault and the death of six persons in Chhapra after drinking spurious liquor.

"Disorder is spreading in the state at a fast pace. It will not be an exaggeration to say that 'jungle raj' returns to Bihar," he said.

The BJP has associated the Rashtriya Janata Dal's rule in the state with 'jungle raj' (lawlessness).

He claimed that the BJP's presence in the government earlier worked as a restraining influence on crime even though the party did not have home or excise departments.

Mr. Patra also attacked Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav over his reported comments on his party's promise of providing 10 lakh jobs.

The BJP leader said Mr. Yadav claimed that he was not the Chief Minister when asked about the promise. He should clarify about it, Mr. Patra said.

The Bihar deputy Chief Minister has asserted that his newly formed government will "deliver" on the promise of providing 10 lakh jobs that he had made while spearheading the RJD's campaign during the assembly elections in 2020.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 6:52:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-pm-ambitions-but-ready-to-play-role-in-forging-opposition-unity-says-nitish-kumar/article65761308.ece