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Nitish picks holes in Modi charges on minority plight

Patna, March 12: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today returned the fire on the BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, charging him with talking “blatant lies” and showing “brazen arrogance” to fulfil his Delhi desire.

“At least a leader aspiring to acquire the prime ministerial position should not stoop so low telling blatant lies to misguide the people,” Nitish said, adding: “It was clear from his demeanour and disposition that he was blatantly arrogant. Unka andaz hi bayan karta hai (His disposition tells everything).”

He sharply reacted to Modi’s speech at the Purnea rally on March 10 in which the BJP mascot had quoted the Sachar Committee report claiming that the condition of the Muslims was deplorable in Bihar and alluded Nitish for using the Muslims merely as vote bank without doing anything substantial to ameliorate their condition. “The Sachar Committee report, based on 2001 census, came out in 2004 when we were not in power,” Nitish said: “He (Modi) did not mention the period the Sachar Committee report with a clear aim to misguide the people.”

What happened to the Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 needed no elaboration for the world is aware of it, Nitish said, quoting the report of N.C. Saxena Committee constituted at the Supreme Court’s order. “At least 30,000 people had been displaced in Gujarat riots landing in 81 relief shelters. The condition of these relief camps was extremely deplorable. The Gujarat government had given no assistance to them. Only five camps had school running in them and there was arrangement for midday meal only in four out of five,” he said.

Giving a point-by-point rebuttal to Modi’s charges at his Purnea rally, Nitish said: “I candidly admit that Bihar or for that matter other eastern states were poor. It was thoroughly inappropriate to compare a backward state like Bihar with Gujarat.”

It was primarily because of the state’s people’s aspiration to catch up with the developed states, he, his party and the people at had been clamouring for the special category status. “We are fighting for it and we will get it fighting. We are not begging for what is our right,” Nitish said attacking Modi (without naming him) for mocking at the self-respect and pride of Biharis.

Nitish also attacked Modi for “mocking” at the condition of Bihar and playing with the people’s self-pride while befriending the forces (read MNS and Shiv Sena) in Maharashtra who beat up and chased out the people from Bihar and other northern states from Maharashtra.

“They (Modi and his mandarins) should clarify how they will deal with their anti-Bihar allies rather than challenging me to clarify if I will accept the schemes given to us by a BJP-led government at the Centre. That situation will never arise,” he said.