| BJP MLAs protest at the Assembly on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Dec. 11: Nitish Kumar today dared the BJP to bring a no-confidence motion against him rather than shouting on the streets that the government had “turned weak and a lame duck” since the party “walked off” the alliance.
Nitish rose to speak on the special debate on terrorism, communalism and Naxalism during the post-lunch session of the Assembly, when the 91-member BJP had walked out of the House to protest against the chief minister, assigning one of his cabinet colleagues to reply on his behalf.
The chief minister, however, virtually “fooled” the BJP by standing up to speak on the issue on which the BJP had walked out presuming he would not speak. “They have developed the habit of retreating from the field. The leader of opposition (Nand Kishore Yadav) puts forth his points. But he leads the boycott by his party colleagues when there is a turn from listening to government’s version. It is downright undemocratic and disrespect to the legislative practices,” Nitish said.
Speaking on the over two-and-a-half-hour debate on terrorism, communalism and Naxalism after water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary put forth the government’s stand and action on the issues, Nitish described the BJP leaders as “jhhooth ke vyapari (merchant of lies)”.
“Day in and day out, they (BJP) tell that the government took no action on the terror attacks. The government is soft on terrorism and Naxalism. The government had turned lame duck after break up of the JD(U)-BJP alliance,” Nitish said, adding: “We had moved a confidence motion to prove our strength on the floor of the House after parting ways with the BJP. If they are so confident about our weakness why are not they bringing out a no-confidence motion to pull us down in the House?”
Earlier, Nand Kishore reduced the debate on the three issues — terrorism, communalism and Naxalism — to the serial blasts during Hunkar Rally. “The government had specific information that Narendra Modi was the target of the terror outfits. But sensing that the chief minister had developed a personal apathy for Modi, the security men refused to do what they should have done for the rally,” he said.
Nitish said: “Terrorism and communalism are complementary to each other. We will put our life on the line for saving the state from the malicious efforts to create social divide,” Nitish said.
Interestingly, RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui echoed Nitish. “Communalism and terrorism are two sides of the same coin,” Siddiqui said, adding: “When your prime ministerial candidate equates life of a Muslim with kutta ka bachcha, it is bound to generate a sense of alienation in the community.”
Siddiqui and the RJD had, however, walked out when Nitish spoke. “The police arrested a terrorist who had exploded the first bomb at the railway station before the rally and eventually found all the clues about the terror strikes at both the places — Bodhgaya and Patna ahead of the NIA taking over. What about the terror strikes in Ahmedabad and other places years ago?” Nitish asked describing the allegation about being “soft” on terrorism and Naxalism as a “blatant lie”.