BJP is not trying and won’t try to destabilise Nitish’s government: Sushil Kumar Modi

BJP leader and former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi talks to Express about Lalu Prasad Yadav’s futile efforts to turn the heat against his and his family’s corrupt acts into a political battle.

Published: 16th July 2017 10:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2017 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

Sushil Kumar Modi

Is the BJP ready to welcome Nitish Kumar into NDA and form a government in Bihar with he as CM?

JD-U and RJD have declared there is no danger to their alliance, that it is solid like a rock. The people have given them a mandate for five years. BJP is not trying and will not try to destabilise the government. But if it collapses due to their internal rifts and a situation arises, BJP’s central parliamentary board will decide what to do.

After the CBI raids and FIR, Lalu is crying political vendetta. Why did the CBI action come after he announced his anti-BJP rally of Opposition parties?

There is absolutely no vendetta if one looks at the allegations and evidences. Lalu is making futile efforts to turn the heat against his corrupt acts into a political battle. Lalu’s rally plans have nothing to do with CBI action. Will everything stop because a political party has announced a rally? Lalu and Tejaswi should speak on the merits of the case. Why did Lalu nominate Premchand Gupta an RJD MP in Rajya Sabha for five terms though the latter does not belong to Bihar. Why did he make him a minister? Why did Premchand Gupta hand over his entire company along with prime land to Lalu’s family?

You highlighted these allegations against Lalu and his family. Will the CBI case lead to conviction?

Not only I or BJP but also Nitish Kumar and JD(U) are confident of this. Nitish was railway minister till 2004. Four years later, in 2008, he and JD(U) leaders levelled the same allegations against Lalu. CBI’s FIR is not like an ordinary one at a regular police station. Prima facie there’s a lot of evidence of wrongdoing by Lalu and his family. By investing Rs 65 lakh, they became owners of land worth Rs 92 crore.

Tejaswi is not resigning. What are Nitish’s options?

Nitish must sack Tejaswi and his brother Tej Pratap from the Cabinet. Nitish cannot climb down from the high moral ground he has assumed. Lalu has said Tejaswi won’t resign and that he (Lalu) will not make any effort to break the alliance. If Tejaswi does not resign, BJP will launch statewide agitations.
With Nitish’s leaning towards the Opposition UPA, is he still an ideal potential partner for NDA?

BJP has not invited anyone to join NDA. Such statements may have been made in the media by some of our allies like Ram Vilas Paswan. Let us wait and see how long their (Nitish-Lalu) alliance continues and what moves Nitish makes to remain in it.

Will Nitish make a good PM?

This is a hypothetical question. Narendra Modi has proved to be one of the best prime ministers. I can’t say who is the second best. Nobody measures up to him. Narendra Modi will become prime minister in 2019 too. It is perfect for leaders to nurse ambitions, but I don’t think any regional leader today stands a chance.

How do you rate Nitish’s  performance?

During the NDA rule between 2005 and 2013, a strong foundation for Bihar’s rapid development was built. The past four years have been significantly bad in governance and development. There is little progress, except maybe prohibition. The CM’s “seven resolves” are a total failure.

Can BJP and its allies come to power in Bihar in 2020?

We expect to perform very well in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and in Bihar. BJP and NDA will win more seats than in 2014. We are preparing for 2019, and our performance in 2020 will depend on it.

If you become CM of Bihar in 2020, will you continue with prohibition?

We haven’t thought about 2020 as we are preparing for 2019. Who becomes CM and who’ll be ministers is decided by BJP’s central parliamentary board. If there is prohibition in a state with public support, no government would like to repeal it. In Bihar today, prohibition has been a total failure.

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