Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal United (JDU) leader Nitish Kumar gave a fresh twirl to politics on Monday by attending the state function of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya in Patna but skipping former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal’s birth anniversary function at Kaithal in Haryana.
Though ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was also present at the function, it could not stop the tongues in political circles from wagging about Nitish’s move presumably preloaded to trigger all sorts of implications and inferences.
The move was especially seen in context with his visit to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s memorial in Delhi in August and attending G20 Summit dinner earlier this month while the majority of the Opposition INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) leaders stayed away. Some read "pressure politics" into it.
Asked whether he was leaning towards the NDA again, Nitish gave an expression of dismay. “What? Mine? What rubbish are you talking about! Leave who discusses what. You know how I have worked to unite the Opposition. How big achievement and work has been there. I have nothing to do with what others are doing,” Nitish told reporters.
The chief minister took a few seconds to ponder before reacting to a question on skipping Devi Lal’s birth anniversary celebrations at Kaithal, which was attended by several Opposition leaders.
“There is no such thing. I keep going to so many places. I keep going everywhere. There is nothing in this. I do go wherever I have to go. There is nothing in it,” Nitish said.
Commenting on the absence of BJP leaders at the function, the chief minister indicated that all his leaders had agreed to come. “It is for them to think who did not come. I respect everybody,” he added.
Skipping questions on the use of profanities by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri against BSP MP Danish Ali in the Lok Sabha, Nitish hit out at the BJP for not being present at the state function and choosing to come later on.
“What objection did they have in coming on time? Let them do whatever comes to their mind. I have nothing to say on this,” he added.
Questioned about the next meeting of INDIA, Nitish said: “There have been talks. Committees have been formed and they are meeting. I have given suggestions to them and am paying attention so that they expedite their internal discussions and decide everything. So do not worry about the next meeting.”