The BJP on Tuesday fumed at yet another volte face by its old ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing him of being a habitual betrayer who was pushing Bihar into the abyss of lawlessness and corruption by entering into a fresh alliance with the RJD. In a statement issued after core committee meeting at the state headquarters, the party announced that it will stage massive protests (mahadharnas) against the betrayal by the JD(U) leader across all districts on Wednesday which will be followed by agitations at the block level a day later.
Reacting furiously to the development, senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who had served as Kumar’s deputy for more than a decade and is considered as his most trusted man in the BJP, accused the former boss of telling blatant lie. It is a blatant lie that BJP had made RCP Singh a minister without the consent of Nitish ji. Another lie is that the BJP was trying to split the JD(U). He was looking for an excuse to break ties. The BJP will return to power with a thumping majority in 2024,” Modi tweeted.
Notably, Kumar had cited a unanimous sentiment in his JD(U) as the reason behind making the sudden move. His party’s ties with the BJP, though dating back to the 1990s, barring a four years hiatus that began with his first breaking away in 2013, have been chequered. However, in the recent past the two parties squabbled on a whole range of issues though the tipping point, according to JD(U) sources, came with alleged attempts of RCP Singh, a former national president who has for some time come to be seen as BJP’s man, to split the party.
At a press conference here soon after Kumar met the governor, along with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the chief minister of inconsistency in his beliefs. You talk about communalism but you aligned with us in the 1990s when the Ayodhya movement was at its peak. You fought with us against Lalu Prasad on the issue of his involvement in fodder scam. In 2013, your personal dislike for Narendra Modi made you leave us and join hands with the RJD president, Prasad said.
You left the RJD in 2017 after Tejashwi Yadav’s name cropped up in a corruption case. You are now pushing Bihar back into the era of lawlessness and corruption which you claimed credit for bringing the state out of, alleged the Patna Sahib MP. Speaking at the same press conference, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal alleged that Kumar was a habitual betrayer (‘aadatan dhokhebaaz’) who will be punished by the people of Bihar for betraying the mandates of 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) and 2020 (assembly elections).
Kumar had, upon tendering his resignation before Governor Phagu Chauhan and staking claim to form a new government, spoken obliquely of the BJP’s role in propping up RCP Singh against him though he was blunt in criticising the policy of social divisiveness, an obvious reference to Hindutva. The 71-year-old had laughed off queries as to whether his move was aimed at realising prime ministerial ambitions, having in the past been seen as a potential rival to Narendra Modi.
Standing by his side, Tejashwi Yadav said, We leave it (prime Ministerial ambition) for him to decide but he deserves praise for taking the courageous decision to dump BJP on a day which marks the anniversary of the launch of Quit India Movement, a veritable fight against tyranny. BJP president J P Nadda had the temerity to say all parties, except his, will be wiped out from the country. He uttered these words during his visit to the state recently. Bihar has answered the BJP back, asserted the young RJD leader.