Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday provided the BJP ammunition to attack the INDIA bloc with his remark that the Congress was more interested in elections than the alliance. Speaking in Patna, Kumar claimed "nothing much" was happening in the alliance, a bloc of 28 parties formed to counter the BJP juggernaut in the 2024 general elections.
"We spoke with all the parties, urged them to unite and protect the country from those who are trying to alter its history. For this, meetings were held in Patna and elsewhere. INDIA Alliance was formed but nothing much is happening. There are Assembly elections in 5 states. The Congress party is more interested in those. We were all working together to take forward the Congress party but they are not worried about all this right now. They are busy with the five-state election right now. So, after the 5-state election, they themselves will call everyone," Kumar said addressing a public event.
The Bharatiya Janata Party took a swipe at the INDIA bloc, calling it 'tukde-tukde' alliance and saying it had neither vision nor mission.
"This INDI Alliance is actually a 'tukde-tukde' alliance. Rahul Gandhi should take out an INDI Jodo Yatra, and not Bharat Jodo Yatra. SP vs Congress was going on in Madhya Pradesh, today Bihar CM Nitish Kumar attacked Congress, before that it was AAP vs Congress from Delhi to Punjab, in West Bengal it is Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury vs Mamata Banjeree, in Kerala Congress vs Left has been ongoing. It means that this alliance has no mission or vision. This alliance is just about contradictions, confusion, corruption, ambition and frustration -- against each other. That is why they taunt each other," BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla said.
Nitish Kumar's remark comes days after INDIA alliance partners, Congress and Samajwadi Party, had a public spat over seat-distribution in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress had released a list of 144 candidates without any SP name on it. The party later said the INDIA alliance was meant only for national politics. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav called the remark a "betrayal".
On Wednesday, making unease between allies JDU and RJD apparent, Kumar drew a comparison between the power situation in Bihar since he became the chief minister in 2005 and Lalu Prasad Yadav's reign before 2005.
"What was the condition of power supply 20 years back, do you remember,” Kumar asked the audience at a function to mark the 11th foundation day of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) in Patna.
He then turned towards the three ministers sitting on the stage -- power minister Bijendra Yadav, who belongs to the chief minister’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Alok Mehta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) who holds revenue and land reforms portfolio and Sunil Kumar of the JD-U, who holds excise and prohibition portfolio.
"Do not take individual credit for any work. Attribute it to the state government. I do not take any individual credit... I credit it to the state government... Our state government has been doing so much work," he said.
Last month, Kumar, at an event, called BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh his friend, courting a controversy. Pointing towards the leader, he had said: "All the people we have here are our friends. We are different, you are different, does it mean our friendship will end? You will remain connected to me as long as I live."
RJD had played down the remark. "Radha Mohan Singh (of BJP) was sitting in front, so he spoke about his personal relationship. There is no mention of any party. People interpreted him incorrectly," said party leader Shakti Yadav.
The BJP also distanced itself from the comment.
"Nitish Kumar has left, we have asked him to leave. BJP clearly believes that we are together in development but there is a fight on principles. Amit Shah has said that he has no connection with Nitish Kumar," said Saket Choudhary, the state BJP chief.
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