Nitish backs Paswan's stand on BJP allies

Nitish backs Paswan's stand on BJP allies

Nitish backs Paswan's stand on BJP allies

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday backed LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan statement that "Sabka saath, sabka vikas" should not only become a mere slogan but it should be implemented on the ground as well.

Paswan, a key National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally, had on Sunday expressed his displeasure over the way the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been treating its alliance partners.

"After the bypoll result, the top BJP leadership should ponder over what went wrong in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Why a large section of people, particularly Dalits and minorities, have turned against the BJP? The ruling party should learn a lesson or two from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which always gave its alliance partners due weight and respect," said Paswan, who has six MPs from Bihar.

However, the Union food and consumer affairs minister clarified that he was not raising a bogey of revolt. "I am with the NDA. And will remain with the NDA," reiterated Paswan.

On Monday, Nitish, after talking to Paswan, said, "given his (LJP chief) seniority, the BJP should give due weight to what the Union minister had been saying."

At the same time, Nitish disapproved the BJP's attempt to give communal colour in Araria, Bhagalpur and Darbhanga.

"The DGP has already clarified that the killing in Darbhanga was not due to the naming of a chowk after Modi. It was a land dispute case," Nitish said adding that he was against "divisive politics' as much as he was against 'corruption'.

Nitish also appeared to have softened his stance towards the RJD chief when asked about a report in a national daily which last week reported said that the CBI legal wing found no evidence against Lalu in land-for-hotel scam (when Lalu was a railway minister in UPA-I).

"This is what I said that time. I wanted more clarification from them (RJD chief) on the issue but they did not...."

The Bihar chief minister, however, did not react on the CBI court verdict in the fodder scam on Monday. "It's a judicial process. And one need not react on such issues every time," said the JD (U) strongman.

He also welcomed UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's dinner party for the Opposition. "What's wrong with her dinner party? Every Opposition leader makes an effort to unite like-minded people," averred Nitish, who severed ties with the Congress and the RJD in July last year before joining the NDA.

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