In his first visit to Bihar after the BJP-JD(U) split, BJP national president Rajnath Singh on Monday accused the Congress of dividing the country on the lines of secularism and communalism.
“There is a deadly disease called encephalitis. Similarly, there is another disease called secularitis from which the Congress and some political parties are suffering in the country,” Rajnath told reporters here.
He said every time when election is round the corner, the Congress keeps harping on the issue of communalism and secularism to take advantage by misguiding voters. He also warned all political parties to guard against the sinister political design of the Congress. In a subtle indication that the party has not closed the door on JD(U), Rajnath said: “All I would like to tell the Bihar Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) is to guard against falling in the trap of the Congress, which wants to divide the polity on communal vs secular lines.”
While referring to the recent bonhomie between the Congress and JD(U), Rajnath said: “Being a disciple of great socialist leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia and Jai Prakash Narayan, Nitish Kumar is committed to strengthen anti-Congress forces in the country. It is another matter that many of their disciples failed in their duty, whereas the BJP emerged as an alternative to the Congress.” On pre-poll alliances, Rajnath said the BJP was focusing more on strengthening ties with the present allies. “When we increase our strength, there will not be much difficulty in any possible post-poll alliance,” he added.
Defending Narendra Modi on the issue of secularism, Rajnath said: “Tell me in which state communal riots have not taken place. Altogether more than 13,900 riots have taken place in the country, including the 1984 riots after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.... But why only Gujarat has been targeted?” The BJP leader also questioned Nitish’s intentions in breaking the alliance. “I fail to understand what sin had Modi committed to provoke you to break this 17-year-long alliance. You did not have any problem between 2002 and 2013. What transpired all of a sudden?” said Rajnath, who is on a two-day visit to Patna to bolster confidence of the party workers.
Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar on Monday said many BJP leaders would be in trouble if he opened his mouth. He said political issues should be answered politically and that both parties should refrain from attacking each other. The BJP president had openly attacked the Bihar Chief Minister at a meeting of party workers on Sunday. A few days ago, former BJP president Nitin Gadkari had also alleged Nitish of nursing prime ministerial ambitions and playing votebank politics.