statesman news service
PATNA, 23 JUNE: A week after his party snapped its alliance with its 17- year-old partner, the BJP today declared a full-scale war on the Bihar chief minister Mr Nitish Kumar for stabbing it in the back, even as it cautioned him against shaking hands with the now “sinking” Congress. The declaration was made by the BJP national president Mr Rajnath Singh at a convention of party workers held here today.
Cautioning the Bihar chief minister against getting cosy with the Congress, Mr Singh said those trying to sail on the Congress’ boat were destined to be wiped out given the strong resentment against the ruling UPA government at the Centre. “Congress se bachkar rahen…Jo bhi Congress ke saath jayega uska hindustan ki rajniti se safaya ho jayega (Please stay away from the Congress. Anyone who flirts with the Congress will be wiped out from politics),” thundered Mr Singh without naming the chief minister. He added the country was impatient to get rid of Congress’ “misrule”. He said he was surprised to see the JD-U flirting with the Congress which has been facing the people&’s wrath for large-scale corruption in the government and its failure to tame shooting inflation.
“We too had run our (NDA) government at the Centre but never allowed  inflation to go up. Today, the value of the rupee is constantly falling,” said Mr Singh adding that the rupee which looked “young” during his NDA government was now giving the impression of a “senior citizen”. Then, he reminded the chief minister of the Congress handling of China whose army intruded inside Indian territory and put up tents for days, and asked if he was still willing to go with the Congress.
Mr Singh also questioned Mr Kumar&’s logic behind raising the issue of Mr Narendra Modi well after a decade after the Gujarat communal riots. “All through 2002 to 2013, JD-U remained a part of the NDA but it never complained.
Today, the JD-U has suddenly begun complaining about Mr Modi which is beyond our comprehension,” Mr Singh said.
Rejecting Mr Kumar&’s suggestion to dump Mr Modi, the BJP chief cited the charismatic leadership of Mr Modi which earned him three consecutive victories in a row, his model of development which is being debated at an international level and also his growing popularity among the masses which compelled the party to name him the BJP&’s poll campaign chief.
The BJP chief also lashed out at Mr Kumar for not showing the basic courtesy towards their previous BJP colleagues and dismissing them from the government instead of seeking their resignations, saying his act could not be tolerated in a civilised Indian society.
He asked his party men to move forward while forgetting the snap in the BJP-JD-U alliance and exhorted them to make a clean sweep in Bihar to help form a BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
At the workers’ conference, leaders launched frontal attacks on the chief minister, questioning his ethics and big leadership claim which helped the NDA win two successive elections in Bihar.
Declaring a virtual war on the chief minister, state BJP Chief Mangal Pandey announced the party would start its campaign from Mr Kumar&’s home district of Nalanda from 25 July.
As part of the campaign, the BJP, led by former deputy chief minister Mr Sushil Kumar Modi, will go to the villages and tell the masses about Mr Kumar&’s “betrayal”.
In the first phase, the BJP will focus its campaign primarily in 141 Assembly constituencies from where the JD-U fielded its candidates in the last Assembly polls under the seat-sharing arrangement with its partner.
Mr Sushil Modi said the chief minister would have to pay the price for his “betrayal”, saying the kind of resentment prevailing among the masses was more than that against previous Bihar Governor Mr Buta Singh, who was accused of dissolving the state Assembly after the February 2005 Assembly elections just when the NDA looked closer to forming its government.
He also accused the chief minister of trying to take lone credit for the state&’s development.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Mr Nandkishore Yadav warned the CM against dishonouring the people&’s mandate while national spokesman Mr Shahanwaz Hussain took a dig at Mr Kumar, saying he dumped the BJP since he himself nursed prime ministerial ambitions.
“The man who continues to raise the issue of Mr Modi should know that he had shaken hands with the BJP ministers in the previous NDA government who did kar seva in Ayodhya. Why then did he join our government?” asked Mr Hussain.