Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.(Image/PTI)
The chief minister, who spoke for nearly 40 minutes, sneered at the RJD-led opposition for having staged a walkout ”instead of staying back and taking part in the debate”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday asserted the BJP-led NDA, to which he returned a few weeks ago, will win all 40 seats of the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The JD(U) president made the ebullient claim on the floor of the assembly, while replying to the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address.
He reiterated that flip-flops of the past notwithstanding, he will now be with old allies ”for ever”. Recalling NDA’s performance in the last parliamentary polls, when it won all but one of the state’s 40 seats, Kumar said, ”We should have no doubt that in the upcoming elections, we will bag all the seats”.
He also recalled the NDA’s success in the 2010 assembly polls when it had won more than 200 seats of the 243-strong House and hoped that the feat would be repeated in next year’s Vidhan Sabha elections. Virtually disowning his earlier stand that the JD(U)’s tally had crashed in the 2020 assembly polls as a result of ”conspiracy” by then LJP president Chirag Paswan who fielded many BJP rebels against his party, Kumar said, ”It was the period of corona pandemic. We could not figure out what was taking place. But now there is nothing to worry”.
The chief minister, who spoke for nearly 40 minutes, sneered at the RJD-led opposition for having staged a walkout ”instead of staying back and taking part in the debate”. ”What would have they said? That the Governor had lied in praising the government? I provided them an opportunity to serve in the government on two occasions, which they squandered,” Kumar said.
Referring to complaints of horse-trading ahead of the trust vote his government won on Monday, the JD(U) boss said, ”I am going to take to task all those who were going adrift. They need to know that they could not have gone to the other side without giving up their membership in the assembly. They would have never won their seats had they not been given party tickets”. However, Kumar claimed the three RJD MLAs who have crossed over were ”people who win on their own steam and whose presence by our side will lend strength to us”.
Lashing out at the RJD, Kumar alleged that under its rule ”there was no law and order and people did not venture out after sunset. Unlike today when even women roam around late in the night without fear”. The JD(U) supremo also called into question the RJD’s social justice plank, claiming that the rival party ”had been putting pressure on me to scrap the separate sub-category of extremely backward classes and bring all castes under the OBC umbrella”.
Kumar’s vitriol against the former ally continued when he later took part in the debate on the floor of the legislative council. He got provoked upon hearing ”murdabad” slogans and shouted: ”You say this because while in power you got people bumped off. This party will be ruined in the next elections”. He also angrily asked former chief minister Rabri Devi, a national vice president of RJD, to ask her members to keep quiet and not disrupt his speech.
Slogans of ”murdabad” were also raised in retaliation from the JD(U)’s side against Lalu Prasad, the RJD president. Rabri Devi, who is also Prasad’s wife, later complained to the media outside the House about JD(U) legislators’ behaviour.