Those in NDA out of fear will jump ship at time of polls: Nitish
He also lashed out at the BJP when his attention was drawn towards the saffron party's repeated claim of routing the Mahagathbandhan which he joined after quitting the NDA
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday claimed that many NDA constituents were with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP "out of fear" and would jump ship at the time of elections.
The JD(U) leader, who is one of the key architects of the opposition coalition INDIA, responded with a resounding "bilkul" (certainly) to repeated queries from journalists as to whether he foresaw a "wipeout" of the NDA in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Asked about Modi’s 'ghamandia' jibe, he said "All of us have joined hands for the betterment of the country. They (the BJP) are not aware that many parties, which I shall not name right now, are with them out of fear. They will come over to this side when the elections are announced".
Kumar, who snapped ties with the BJP a year ago, also took a veiled dig at Modi's absence from the Parliament during the first two days of debate on the no-confidence motion.
"The House is in session and people remain busy roaming around (ghoomte rahte hain). A far cry from the days when Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to be in power and I was one of his ministers. We used to make it a point to remain inside the House and pay attention to the proceedings", the septuagenarian recalled.
The JD(U) leader, whose party supported the no-confidence motion, was of the view that the opposition "did its job" by highlighting the Manipur issue and other problems faced by the country.
"Unfortunately, the ruling dispensation seems to have captured the media. So little coverage is given to the opposition while whatever these people say or do is published and broadcast ad nauseum. I have cut down my consumption of news in disgust", exclaimed the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar.
He also lashed out at the BJP when his attention was drawn towards the saffron party's repeated claim of routing the Mahagathbandhan which he joined after quitting the NDA.
"They keep mocking my party as being number three in terms of numerical strength in the assembly. They should admit the conspiracy they had hatched with the help of their agent", said Kumar, obliquely referring to Chirag Paswan, who was heading the Lok Janshakti Party during the 2020 Vidhan Sabha polls.
Paswan had fielded candidates, many of them BJP rebels, in all seats which were being contested by the JD(U), causing the tally of the chief minister's party to fall drastically.
"After the elections, I had refused to go for another term as chief minister. I relented only because of the BJP's insistence. They gloat about their superior numbers. They should remember Lok Sabha and assembly polls of the past when we fought together and JD(U) won more seats than they did", said Kumar.
Wistfully remembering Vajpayee, "for whom I will always have immense respect", Kumar accused the current dispensation in the BJP of "having other priorities" and complained about the refusal to grant special status to Bihar and alleged attempts to take credit for schemes launched by the state government.
"It was we who took piped water to every household and electricity to every village. But they wanted to project these as their own achievements", alleged Kumar.