BJP-led Central Govt Does Little Except Publicity’: Nitish

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that the current dispensation at the Centre does little except publicity. Kumar said this in his speech during a debate on the motion of confidence for his government. The newly formed Mahagathbandhan’ government won the motion of confidence amid a walkout staged by MLAs of the BJP, which has been stripped of power as a result of the recent political upheaval in the state.

Their (BJP) only task is to create disturbances in society, Kumar said. He expressed anguish over the BJP only blowing the trumpet of the government at the Centre. Even our own scheme Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal which has been replicated nationally is being talked about as if it was their initiativeAll that is happening out of Delhi today is publicity.

The current dispensation does little except publicity (prachar prasar’). When BJP MLAs protested, he said they were free to speak against him. Maybe this will earn you some rewards from your political bosses, the chief minister said. Rejecting the BJP’s charge that his latest volte-face was aimed at becoming the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition camp, Kumar asserted that he had no personal ambitions. He, nonetheless, spoke of his interactions with leaders from across the country whom he has urged to stay united for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The JD(U) leader also recounted his old association with the BJP and underscored the contrast between the current dispensation and the era of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, and Murli Manohar Joshi. Leaders like Vajpayee, Advani treated me with respect, the JD(U) leader said. Kumar also recalled the humiliation he felt when his request for granting central status to Patna University was rejected by the Prime Minister in full public glare.

This, he said, was in sharp contrast with the bygone era when Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Union HRD Minister, had readily accepted that his alma mater, the Bihar Engineering College here, be upgraded to the status of an NIT. Nitish Kumar made indirect references to rebellion by LJP’s Chirag Paswan, allegedly at BJP’s behest, and attempts to cause a split in JD(U) through his former protg RCP Singh. Kumar also pointed out that after the 2020 assembly polls, when he was requested by the BJP to continue despite a diminution in JD(U)’s tally, he felt disappointed at many old ministers like Sushil Kumar Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav and Prem Kumar being dropped.

But I did not say anything since it was an internal matter of their party. They (BJP MLAs) have run away. Had they stayed back, I would have recalled many things which could have caused them discomfort, said Kumar. The chief minister admitted to having severed ties with RJD in 2017 over corruption cases against Tejashwi Yadav, who is back as his deputy, but pointed out five years have since passed. Not one thing has been proven. Kumar also lambasted the BJP for raising controversy over the entry inside a temple by his new cabinet colleague Israil Ahmed Mansuri and reminded the former ally that Muslims too voted for them when they were with me. He also expressed displeasure over frequent references by BJP leaders to the JD(U)’s inferior numerical strength and reminded the saffron party of assembly elections of 2005 and 2010, besides the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, when we had won far too many seats.

Lending his weight to the opposition’s cry of democracy under threat the JD(U) leader said, even the media is not being allowed to function independently. But we must fight together to bring about a change. The veteran socialist also mocked the Har Ghar Tiranga and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaigns, questioning the role played by RSS, the BJP’s parent organisation.

The newly-formed government in Bihar on Wednesday comfortably won the motion of confidence through a voice vote, after which the Deputy Speaker ordered a headcount upon a request by Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the parliamentary affairs minister, who said that though a voice vote had clearly showed support of the majority, the exercise would leave no room for any ambiguity . As per the headcount, 160 MLAs voted in favour of the confidence motion while no vote was cast against the same. The lone MLA of AIMIM, Akhtarul Iman, whose party is not a part of the ruling alliance, also took part in the headcount and supported the confidence motion.

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