Patna, March 17: The BJP today warned its ally — the JD(U) — against boarding the Congress’s “sinking ship” and selectively attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, recently praised by chief minister Nitish Kumar for their positive “gestures” to Bihar.
Deputy chief minister and BJP senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi, known for his close proximity with Nitish, led the all out attack on the Congress. He used his concluding speech at the party’s two-day state executive meet to clarify his relationship with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
“You (cadres) should never be confused about my relationship. I have 35-year-old personal relationship with Narendra Bhai (Narendra Modi) and I will stay grounded to the party I was born and brought up in. Not me, my body will go out of the party on my death,” he said, evoking thunderous clapping from the cadres.
While Nitish declared today that his party, after the 2014 polls, would support the coalition that would accord the special status to Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi said: “There is no hope from the Congress. Only the BJP-led NDA will accord the special category status to Bihar. The prime task ahead of us is to install a prime minister from the BJP after the 2014 polls.”
“We will stand by whosoever from our ranks is selected to lead it,” he said, asking his cadres not to be restive.
“Be patient. The party will take the right decision at the right time,” he said, driving home his message subtly.
Apparently warning his 17-year-old “friend” (read Nitish) against soft pedalling on the Congress, he said: “Some people are harbouring the false notion that they will swim ashore in the Congress’s company. The fact is the Congress’s boat is shuddering and the one who boards it will drown for sure.”
The other BJP leaders, including Ravishankar Prasad, Shatrughan Sinha, Rajiv Pratap Rudi, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mangal Pandey, also bashed up the Congress but indicated that they would keep on playing the “waiting game” while judging the distance the JD(U) has gone against the BJP. The party deferred its Hunkar Rally from April 15 to October 27. Its altered theme would be how the Congress meted out step-motherly treatment to Bihar over the years.
On the JD(U)’s rally in New Delhi today, Hussain, the BJP spokesperson, told The Telegraph: “It has raised the demand that the BJP has been clamouring for ever since the bifurcation of the state.”
Asserting that the JD(U) would not go with the Congress, he said: “The JD(U) has all along been against the ideology of the Congress.”