VAISHALI: After facing ally trouble in Jharkhand and Maharashtra, it seems the BJP, which lost both the states, is now playing it safe it Bihar. Party president Amit Shah on Thursday announced that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be the ‘uncontested leader’ of NDA for the state polls later this year.
In a big concession, he also nuanced his speech at a pro-CAA rally near Patna by skipping reference to the NRC, which Kumar is opposed to.
Shah attempted to firmly quell the voices against Kumar from within his party saying, “I want to dispel all rumours about our coalition with Kumar’s JD(U). The elections will be contested under his leadership. Lalu Prasad (RJD supremo) may go on dreaming that our coalition will come apart. But he should know that the NDA has led Bihar out of his lantern age (an allusion to RJDs poll symbol) to LED era.”
“The country and the state shall progress under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Kumar respectively,” Shah, flanked by Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Nityanand Rai, besides BJP state chief Sanjay Jaiswal and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, said.
The BJP chief had informally spoken about Kumar as NDA leader in Bihar earlier, but this was the first occasion that he made the unequivocal assertion in public.
Mindful of Kumar’s position on the NRC or NPR, Shah did not mention it even once even as he spoke on CAA, an issue on which the JD(U) had voted with the BJP in Parliament.
Two days ago, Kumar had unequivocally stated in the one-day special session of the Bihar Assembly that the extension of NRC outside Assam was needless and had no justification.
He had also said the party had been given no inkling by the Centre that it was to be expanded to the entire country.
The BJP president sought the support of the people to the government’s measures like CAA and Article 370, while taking on ‘Rahul Baba, Laluji, Mamata Didi and Arvind Kejriwal’ for “speaking the language of Pakistan” and “misleading the minorities”.
Congress blamed for plights of refugees
“The CAA is aimed at helping those who had to flee these countries after their women were raped in front of their eyes, their property was captured and their places of worship desecrated,” Amit Shah said, blaming the Congress for Partition and the violence during the recent anti-CAA protests across the country.