Seven Things Nitish Kumar Has Had to Say About PM Modi, RSS and BJP
“To create an RSS-free India, all non-BJP parties would have to come together.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are set to address a rally on the March 3 in Patna. The last time Modi and Kumar addressed an election rally together was prior to 2009 general elections.
After Modi was being paraded as the potential Prime Ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Janata Dal (United) ended its 17-year partnership with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Kumar, who came into power in Bihar in 2015 in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress, abandoned his coalition partners and rejoined the BJP-led NDA in 2017.
As Kumar and Modi are set to fight the 2019 polls together, here is a list of Kumar’s remarks that make one consider if JD(U)’s current partnership with the BJP is a result of sheer political opportunism.
- Shortly before scrapping ties with the NDA ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Kumar had reportedly referred to Modi as a divisive leader who had allowed the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat. He had said, “The people of this country will never accept divisive forces. Their aim is to divide and rule this nation. We knew this would happen. About them, we can say vinaash kaale vipreet buddhi(when downfall nears, one’s mental faculties go for a toss).”
- On IIT-Madras Student Body derecognition, Kumar had called the Modi government dictatorial and fascist. “The derecognition of the students’ group, many of whom are Dalits, amounted to curbing fundamental rights of a citizen of free speech and expression. It’s an attack on democracy and reflected the dictatorial and fascist face of the Central government,” he had told
- In August 2015, in an open letter addressed to the PM, Kumar had charged him with disrespecting the legacy of Bihar. Modi had reportedly said during a visit that there was ““some problem with Nitish Kumar’s DNA”. To this, Kumar had responded by saying, “Most of us feel that these statements have disrespected the lineage of our people and have denigrated the great legacy of the state. This also gives credence to the feeling that perhaps you and your party hold a prejudice against the people of Bihar.”
- A few months after demonetisation, he demanded answers from the Modi government. “Manmohan Singh was right when he said demonetisation was monumental mismanagement. The Centre has to tell us what the benefit from demonetisation was. When nowhere in the world cashless or less cash economy has worked, how will it work in a country like India? They say we will double farmers’ income in five years. But they won’t be here in five years, how will they double the income? The people in power today have a tendency to divert the narrative,” the Bihar CM had reportedly.
- In May 2017, he again attacked the Modi government over the demonetisation policy. “I was supporter of demonetisation…but how many people benefited from it? Some powerful people shifted their cash from one place to another,” he had reportedly.
Kumar had earlier attacked the BJP saying the party has no say when it comes to the diktats of its ideological parent, the RSS. ”The BJP has a government at the Centre, which has repeatedly claimed that they are proud to be Swayamsevaks. RSS view is final. Whatever BJP might say, it has no meaning. Like anything is decided by the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, it is final and there is nothing after that. The same way in RSS, if RSS chief says something then BJP has no say. The BJP is a political outfit of RSS and Swayamsevaks and pracharaks are part of this government. Whatever Bhagwat has said is final and there is no other thought.”
In April 2017, Kumar had reportedly called for an RSS-free India. “Sangh-mukt Bharat banane ke liye sabhi gair BJP parties ko ek hona hoga (To create an RSS-free India, all non-BJP parties would have to come together.). Uniting against BJP and its divisive ideology is the only way to save democracy.”