Days after some of his party colleagues described him as the “most suitable” candidate for the President’s office, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday rubbished such reports, saying he was neither in the race, nor is he interested in it.
Kumar’s formal clarification has finally set at rest speculations of him being in the race for the President — a kind of debate that had been constantly dominating the political circles for the past few weeks. It has also come as a huge relief to the BJP which apparently found itself in a difficult situation with the JD-U pushing Kumar’s name for the President
“Please spare me. Neither I hold any such ambition (for the President’s office) nor am I interested in getting involved in such talks,” the Chief Minister told the media on the sidelines of his weekly Junta Durbar here, thus bringing the curtains formally down on such speculations. For the past several weeks, he added, various kinds of such stories are getting generated in the media which is very strange.
He added that he would give any comments on Presidential elections only after the announcement of the candidate/s and informed he had not been consulted by anyone over the issue so far. This is in sharp contrast to the Opposition camp where various groups led by Congress, Miss Mamata Banerjee and K Chandrashekhar Rao have got overactive in the aftermath of the Election Commission announcing the schedule for the Presidential election.
Prior to Kumar, JD-U’s national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh had given a statement in the media that the Chief Minister was not in the race. “Mukhya Mantriji Bihar ki janta ki seva kar rahe hain. Wo Rashtrapati ke na ummidwar hain na Rashtrapati banne ja rahe hain (The Chief Minister is currently serving the people of the state. Neither he is the Presidential candidate nor he is going to become the President),” the JD-U president told the media on Saturday.
Two other Cabinet colleagues of Kumar also rejected such speculations about the chief minister. “Nitish Kumarji ko 2025 tak Bihar ki janata ka seva ka mandate mila hua hai. 2025 tak Nitish Kumarji Bihar ki sewa karenge (Nitish Kumar has got the mandate to serve the people of Bihar till 2025. So, till then he will serve as the chief minister),” Minister for Information and Public Relations Sanjay Kumar Jha told the media on Friday.
The JD-U’s top brass had to issue a series of clarifications after the rural development minister Shrawan Kumar, considered very close to Kumar, described the latter as the “most suitable” Presidential candidate stating he is “Sarv Gun Smpann”. It was this statement that triggered a hot debate in the political circles about Bihar’s Chief Minister pushing himself in the race for the President. However, all these talks turned out to be a big hoax in the end.