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Opinion

Nitish became Bihar CM at the request of NDA: Sushil Modi

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PATNA One day after Bihar Prime Minister Nitish Kumar said that he had expressed no desire to become Prime Minister and that his party ally Janata Dal (United), the Bharatiya Janata party, could have elected his own CM, the former Vice Minister of State, Sushil. Kumar Modi of the BJP adopted a conciliatory note and said that Kumar had been reluctant to accept the highest office in the state after the recent assembly elections and relented only after all the constituents of the National Democratic Alliance in the been asked to do it.

“It is true that Nitish Kumar showed reluctance to continue as chief minister after the assembly elections and said that the BJP should claim the highest post,” Modi, now a member of Rajya Sabha, said on Monday.

Modi, who is known to have an excellent relationship with Nitish Kumar, was responding to inquiries on the sidelines of a function organized here on the anniversary of the birth of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley.

Kumar, who was elected as CM despite his party winning only 43 seats (the BJP won 74 in the 243-member assembly), said at the JD (U) national executive meeting on Sunday that he was pressured to become the Prime Minister. “I had no intention of becoming a CM, but they pressured me to accept the position,” he had said.

“Whoever becomes the CM hardly affects me. I have no need to continue with this post. I wanted a CM from BJP and I’m (still) ready to cooperate, ”he said.

Kumar’s statement, which came two days after six JD (U) MLA defected to the ruling BJP in Arunachal Pradesh, points to a division that is developing in the ruling alliance.

JD (U) National Chief General Secretary KC Tyagi also expressed distress over repeated references to Kumar being the CM despite his party’s declining strength in the assembly.

He stressed that Kumar had initially expressed the opinion that the BJP, due to its superior numerical strength, should have its own prime minister.

He also ruled out the possibility of a deterioration in relations between the two parties following the mass defection of the JD (U) MLA to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh.

Modi also expressed similar sentiments. “JD (U) himself has said that events taking place in another state will not affect the party’s link with BJP in Bihar. I am confident that the NDA will rule Bihar for another five years, with Nitish Kumar at the helm, without any problems, ”he said. “There is excellent coordination between the two parties.”

Recalling Jaitley, he said: “I’m sure if I had been around I would have found a way out of the current stalemate around farm bills.”

BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said Kumar has put Bihar on the path of development. “He was again elected leader by the NDA legislators and we are confident that he will continue to push Bihar forward.”

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