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If I open my mouth many BJP people will be in trouble: Nitish Kumar

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/if-i-open-my-mouth-many-bjp-people-will-be-in-trouble-nitish/1/285044.html

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Friends for 17 years within the NDA, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) are fighting a bitter battle of words in Bihar following their unsavoury split over the Narendra Modi issue recently.

Faced with repeated attacks by the BJP leaders, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday hit back by hurling a veiled warning to the leaders of his erstwhile saffron ally. He said that the BJP leaders would land in trouble if he opened his mouth. “If I speak up, many of them (BJP leaders) will be in trouble,” he said.

Nitish’s succinct remark followed blistering attack on him by the BJP leaders during the two-day visit of their party president Rajnath Singh to Bihar.

On the last day of his visit on Monday, Singh cautioned Nitish against falling in the trap of the Congress which raised the issue of Narendra Modi before every election. Referring to Nitish, he said that it was the duty of all anti-Congress forces to carry forward the ideology of Socialist leaders such as Ram Manohar Lohia and Jaya Prakash Narayan. “While many disciples have failed to carry forward their legacy, the BJP has done so by emerging as an alternative to the Congress,” he said.

In another jibe at the JD-U, Singh also said that some parties seemed to be afflicted with a disease called ‘secularitis’ and were trying to divide the country on secular and communal lines. “Our country must be saved from this disease,” he said.

He said that the Congress’ attack on Modi was part of its strategy. “More than 13,900 riots have taken place since Independence but the issue of no riot had been raised in the manner of Gujarat riot,” he stated.

Singh said that the Congress was doing it purposely to divert public attention from its failures.

Earlier, addressing a party workers’ conference on Sunday, Singh had warned Nitish that his party would be wiped out in the next polls if it aligned with the Congress.

The BJP leaders from Bihar also went hammer and tongs in hitting out at him. Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, once considered a close associate of Nitish, hit out at the Chief Minister for dismissing the 11 BJP ministers unceremoniously from the Cabinet. “The BJP and JD-U had worked together to rid Bihar of the ‘jungle raj’ but Nitish showed least sensitivity in sacking the 11 ministers,” he said. “He, in fact, dismissed Ashwini Chaube while he was fighting for his life in Kedarnath.”

Senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad wondered whether Nitish would go to receive Narendra Modi at Patna airport in case the latter became the prime minister.

Syed Shahnawaz Hussain that Nitish had taken least steps for the welfare of the minorties while he was the Union minister. “One does not become secular only by wearing a (topi) cap,” he said. “Topi is, after all, meant for prayers not for politics.”

The BJP leaders squarely blamed Nitish for the split and the electorate would teach him a lesson in the next elections.

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