After the Grand Alliance&’s massive victory in Bihar, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar on Sunday said the mandate has shown that the people have rejected attempts to polarize society and want a strong alternative at the national level.
Addressing his first press conference after the poll win, Nitish Kumar, accompanied by RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Bihar Congress chief Ashok Chowdhary, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had run a “very aggressive campaign and attempts were made to create a certain situation. People have rejected the attempts to polarise society and expressed their view.”
“This is a huge mandate and we accept it with all humility. The mandate is a victory of the state’s pride (swabhiman)," he said.
"The Bihar poll outcome will have implications at the national level; it has attracted nation-wide attention. The results have made it clear that people want a strong opposition and an alternative at the national level,” he said.
Nitish Kumar, who is set to return as chief minister of Bihar for a third successive term, thanked the electorate for the victory and said the alliance partners would try and live up to the massive mandate.
“I express my gratitude towards people of Bihar, we will try our best to match up with their expectations,” said the Janata Dal-United leader.
He also said the Mahagatbandhan would respect the opposition.
“We don’t hold grudges against anyone, the Mahagatbandhan will work with positivity,” he said, adding, “In a democracy opposition should be respected. We will respect the opposition.”
He said the huge victory “suggests that people of Bihar have aspirations; we will match up with their expectations,” he added.
He said the three parties of JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress have worked in unity and will continue to do so for the development of Bihar.
“Our alliance is accepted and appreciated by the people of Bihar,” Nitish Kumar said.
“This victory shows unity among the RJD, JD-U and Congress, and we’ll continue to work like this in future,” he assured.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the Bihar elections have given a “new direction to the entire country”.
Lalu, whose party has bagged the largest vote of 80 seats, said both he and Nitish Kumar would “together take Bihar on the path of development”.
“Nitish will continue as the chief minister of Bihar,” he declared emphatically.
“Under Nitish Kumarji’s leadership Bihar will move on a development path. We both will together take Bihar on the path of development,” he said
Taking on the Narendra Modi government at the centre, Lalu said: “We will overthrow the fascist regime of Narendra Modi.”
“The BJP tried to communalize the society… After the grand victory in Bihar, our next mission will be Delhi,” said Lalu.
In a jibe, Lalu said the BJP mistook the early trends of postal ballot as their victory and started celebrating.
“Narendra Modi thought Bihar was like Haryana and Maharashtra. Narendra Modi is less of a PM and more of a RSS pracharak,” said Lalu, attacking the prime minister.
“There will be long term implications of Bihar result on the country,” he said.
Lalu also said that the BJP was eyeing the West Bengal where elections are due in 2017 but that the Bihar results had stopped the party in its tracks.
“There’s a growing desire in the country for a strong opposition, it’s also requirement of functioning democracy," Nitish added.
The JD-U is poised to win over 73 seats, the RJD 80 seats and the Congress 25 seats.