Fissures in grand-alliance as Nitish takes jibe at Lalu

“I also learnt from Thakur and never promoted my family member in politics,” Nitish asserted.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday taunted his coalition partner and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, saying that some people projected themselves as leaders by promoting their family members.

Nitish was addressing a gathering at the Veterinary College ground in the state capital to celebrate the birth centenary of two-time chief minister and socialist icon Karpoori Thakur, whose name was nominated for the Bharat Ratna award late on Tuesday.

The event was organised by JD(U), of which Nitish is the national president. He pointed out that Thakur never promoted his family members and the party made his son Ramakant Thakur a minister and Rajya Sabha member only after his death.

“I also learnt from Thakur and never promoted my family member in politics,” Nitish asserted. His remark has also come at a time when Lalu is reportedly pressuring him to vacate his chair and elevate his son and deputy chief minister, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, to the CM’s post.

Nitish’s attack on ‘Parivarwad’ (family or dynasty rule) sounds very much familiar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frequent and sharp criticism of it as he also made special mention about Modi not telephoning him on conferment of Bharat Ratna on former chief minister Karpoori Thakur. “PM called Thakur’s son (Ramnath Thakur) but not me, but I want to thank him through the media for nominating him (Karpoori Thakur) for the Bharat Ratna award, the highest civilian award,” he remarked.

Notably, Thakur was also the first to impose total prohibition in the state in 1970, but it was lifted later, Nitish recalled. He said that Thakur’s government had also fallen later, calling it an improper act. Thakur became a Janata Party CM in 1977 for the second time. Still, his government fell after the then Bhartiya Jan Sangh withdrew its support in 1979 as he was implementing the Mungeri Lal Commission recommendations to provide quota for backward classes in government jobs.

At a separate function organised by RJD, Lalu said that the Centre had not done any favour to the state or the family of Karpoori Thakur by conferring the Bharat Ratna award (posthumously); instead, he deserved it.

‘Not a favour’

At a separate function organised by RJD, Lalu Prasad said that the Centre had not done any favour to the state or the family of Karpoori Thakur by conferring Bharat Ratna (posthumously) instead, the former Bihar CM deserved it.

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