CM face: Sushil Modi backs Nitish, then backs off

Senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi (PTI Photo)

Senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday tweeted that Nitish Kumar will be the chief ministerial face of the NDA during the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections. The motive behind Modi’s tweet was to put to rest all speculations after senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan suggested Nitish to relinquish the post of CM and move to Centre to work under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“@NitishKumar is the Captain of NDA in Bihar & will remain its Captain in next assembly elections in 2020 also. When Captain is hitting 4 & 6 & defeating rivals by inning where is the Q of any change,” tweeted Sushil Modi. He, however, deleted his tweet within hours only to clarify later that he had not done so and “the tweet was very much there.”

Once the news spread that Modi had deleted the tweet, there was huge uproar over his supporting Nitish and then backing off. The Deputy Chief Minister is considered close to Nitish.

Earlier, Sanjay Paswan had asked Nitish to move to Centre and “make Sushil Modi as Chief Minister till 2020 Assembly elections so that the BJP could carry forward the (Narendra) Modi model of governance.”     

The RJD was quick to react on the issue. “Nitish Kumar is being constantly humiliated by the BJP leaders under a design. The man (Sanjay Paswan), who asked Nitish to vacate CM’s chair and make way for a BJP Chief Minister, would not have dared to say so without having the blessings of top party leadership. It’s high time for Nitish to take a clear stand and set his priorities right,” said RJD vice-president Shivanand Tiwary.

Incidentally, Tiwary was a founder member of Samata Party when Nitish parted ways with Janata Dal and formed his outfit headed by George Fernandes in 1994.

Last week, Tiwary had reiterated that Nitish could be the leader of the Mahagatbandhan again if he dumped the BJP and re-joined the Grand Alliance.

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