Chief minister Nitish Kumar unveils a statue of Chandra Shekhar Azad at Kankerbagh on Thursday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey
Patna, July 8: Nitish Kumar today launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi, barely a fortnight before the Prime Minster's visit to the state.
"Narendra Modi has remembered Bihar again after becoming the Prime Minister. But the people of the state would not be carried away by his rhetoric this time around. They have measured him now," chief minister Nitish told reporters after inaugurating a life-size statue of former Prime Minister late Chandra Shekhar in the Bahadurpur Housing Colony area here.
Modi is scheduled to address a public meeting at Muzaffarpur on July 25. "Let us see if Modi announces a package for Bihar or does packaging that he has been doing all along. We have submitted all the papers detailing the demands of the state to the Prime Minister's Office. Let us see if he dwells on our demands or unleashes new rhetoric," he said.
Taking a pot shot at the BJP president, Amit Shah, Nitish said: "He (Shah) had come to perform asanas in Patna on June 21. But he ended up doing kursi- asana (sitting in chair)."
Nitish pooh-poohed the claim of Modi and other BJP leaders that they were running a scandal-free government. "On the completion of one year in office, he (Modi) said no scam had taken place in a year. Now the scams are coming out on a daily basis," Nitish said.
He added that there was no reason for the external affairs ministry to protect a fugitive (Lalit Modi) on humanitarian grounds. "I have utmost respect for foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje. But they are in the party which believes in protecting its people. They (BJP) do not believe in the rule of law."
Asked about the Vyapam scandal in Madhya Pradesh, Nitish said: "We have been in public life for over four decades. But I have not seen so many deaths in connection with a scam. It is a peculiar situation, indicating a protracted rot afflicting the BJP's system of governance. The Centre's silence on the issue is mysterious."
The chief minister also attacked the BJP for fiddling with history. Targeting his former deputy and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, Nitish said: "He is making personal attacks on me to prove that he was not close to me. But the people's memory is not that short."