Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, in a veiled attack on the alliance partner BJP, said that National Register of Citizens (NRC) won’t be implemented in Bihar.
‘If an attempt is made to implement the NRC in Bihar, we will oppose it tooth and nail,’ said Nitish, without naming the BJP leaders who have been shouting from the rooftop in favour of NRC and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in view of the impending Bengal Assembly poll later this year.
This is the first time since his party MLAs were poached in Arunachal Pradesh (where six JD (U) MLAs out of seven joined the BJP), that Nitish has taken a jibe at the saffron camp.
In his own characteristic manner, the de facto JD (U) chief hit out further at the BJP when he said that his only fault (for the less number of seats won by the JD (U) during the November Assembly polls) was that he could not distinguish between a friend and a foe.
‘Samajh hee nahi sake kaun dost tha, aur kaun dushman. (I failed to differentiate between friends and foes). Looking back, I now feel the seat-sharing pact (among the NDA allies) should have been done five months prior to the election. This would have given us an edge,’ said Nitish, while addressing the party’s state executive meeting which was convened to take stock of the poll result and chart out the future course of action.
Most of the party leaders who lost the recent Bihar Assembly poll put the blame directly on the BJP.
‘It was not due to the LJP that we lost. It was the BJP which ensured that we were defeated. ‘LJP-BJP bhai-bhai’ was the slogan in my constituency,’ lamented former minister Jai Kumar Singh, who lost as the JD (U) nominee from Dinara.
Lalu Prasad’s kin and Tej Pratap’s estranged father-in-law Chandrika Rai, who contested as JD (U) candidate, too squarely blamed the BJP for his defeat in Saran district.
‘I was initially not prepared to don the CM’s mantle this time. But gave in to pressure from within the party as well as the allies. But let us now forget the past and work for all those who voted for us or did not vote for us. This government will complete its five-year term,’ reiterated Nitish.
In the meantime, the JD (U) appointed former MLA Umesh Kushwaha as the new Bihar JD (U) president in place of veteran Socialist Vashistha Narayan Singh, who is not keeping good health.