Patna, April 8: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today lashed out at the BJP’s manifesto for what he termed “insulting” to Bihar and stoking communal divide in the country.
“The manifesto has selectively insulted Bihar. It aims at denying the participation of the diverse sections of society,” Nitish said, adding acerbically: “The manifesto has invaded the very soul of the Constitution.”
It was for the first time in the history of releasing manifestos by political parties, said Nitish, the BJP had released the same on the day polling started. “It is an insult to the voters, too,” he said.
The chief minister, who was trying to emerge as the central opponent of the BJP after dumping it on the Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial candidature issue, said: “The BJP manifesto is a reflection of false promises, lies and wrong assertions that its prime ministerial candidate has also been speaking on.”
Nitish told reporters: “The BJP manifesto talks about the UPA government’s policy paralysis and governance deficit. But an inordinate delay on the part of the BJP has proved it beyond all doubts that the party itself was ailing from policy paralysis.”
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and state party chief Mangal Pandey, however, countered Nitish’s attack on their party’s policy document.
“The BJP manifesto is like a broader policy document addressing the issues afflicting 28 states and eight union territories. It is a national manifesto focusing on the broader issues; it is not a state-specific paper,” Sushil Modi said.
Modi clarified that the state unit of the party had submitted a letter demanding special category status to Bihar and special package worth Rs 50,000 crore to the party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of his Bihar’s sojourns. “Modi announced that he would accord special status, special package and special attention to Bihar if the BJP comes to power at the Centre,” Sushil Modi said, adding: “Nitish had turned cynical to the BJP due to his failure to pull crowd at his meetings.”
Nitish, however, described the non-inclusion of the special category to Bihar in the BJP’s manifesto as “fraud”.