PATNA: Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for congratulating him on becoming Chief Minister of Bihar for fourth time, Nitish Kumar today said political rivalry notwithstanding he would meet PM and seek Centre-State cooperation for development of the state.
"Politically we can be face to face with each other. But, for development of Bihar I will have no hesitation to meet him and stress for healthy Centre-State cooperation," Kumar told reporters after taking oath as CM of Bihar for the fourth time.
He thanked PM for extending congratulation to him by tweeting a message.
Kumar's hostility towards Narendra Modi is an open secret. Its an established political fact that he had driven JD(U) to severe ties with BJP in June 2013 over elevation of Narendra Modi.
Moreover, his quitting after JD(U) drubbing in general election last year was seen in political circle was prompted by his hesitation to come face to face with his bete noire.
The oath function of Nitish Kumar at Raj Bhavan served as a big anti-BJP platform with prominent leaders of parties opposed to BJP assembling at the function to show solidarity.
Besides leaders of core parties engaged in merger of old Janata Parivar there were prominent leaders from Congress, TMC and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha of Babu Lal Marandi on the occasion.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Chief Ministers of Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh Tarun Gogoi, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, INLD leader Abhay Chautala, Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) Kamal Morarka, NCP Tariq Anwar and Congress Motilal Vohra, C P Joshi, Srikant Jena and Kripa Shankar Singh were among other present to make the occasion politically big.
Later, Kumar said RJD president Lalu Prasad could not make to the occasion because of marriage of his daughter and so was SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Kumar informed mediapersons that Congress president Sonia Gandhi extended warm greeting to him through a letter handed over to him by Motilal Vohra.
Asked if presence of Mamata Banerjee and Tarun Gogoi suggest formation of a block of Eastern states to take on the BJP-led Central government, Kumar said "it will not right to say formation of a block but for economic interest of Eastern states we will fight together."
Kumar said he would try to seek cooperation from Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also for the purpose.
Kumar said he would not work with any prior "bias" or "pre-conceived notion" about anybody or any party in the interest of Bihar.
All prominent leaders had refreshment together in the Raj Bhavan.
Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar were sitting on right and left hand sides of Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi during the refreshment and exchanged pleasantries.
Mamata Banerjee refused to answer any question of mediaperson at the Raj Bhawan.
But, Jharkhand Vikash Morcha leader Babu Lal Marandi came down heavily of BJP for allegedly breaking his party and said he would fight BJP more strongly.