‘Graft to trigger movement against Congress’


New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar sees the issue of corruption as a catalyst for an anti-Congress movement, which could lead to change of government, reminiscent of 1977, 1989 and 1998.

Nitish Kumar did not foresee any problem with regard to a Prime Ministerial face, insisting that the people will choose their leader and they will bring about the change. In his first major media interaction since his recent re-election as the Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar said, “The situation is gradually building up on the issue of corruption. People are exercised over the issue of corruption. People are standing up against corruption.” Nitish Kumar evaded a direct response to questions on whether he is ready to lead a movement for change. “As far as the issue of leadership is concerned, our political system creates the leader. But it will all depend on situations.” People are getting impatient with corruption. All the NDA rallies against corruption are drawing popular response from the people. Even during the Bihar Assembly election campaign, whenever he raised the issue of confiscating properties of the corrupt, there was uniform support from the people in all the over 300 public meetings he had addressed.

On the ongoing logjam in Parliament, Nitish endorsed the NDA stand that the government must concede the Opposition’s demand for JPC. “There is no other way out of the logjam,” he said.  Wondering what problem the government had in agreeing to the Opposition’s demand, he said there was no conflict between the PAC and the JPC. While the PAC will continue to discharge its mandate, the JPC has a larger dimension.

Without mentioning her by name, Nitish Kumar hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying the campaign against his government on misuse of Central funds during the poll campaign had boomeranged on her.  “The Congress has lessons to draw from the Bihar Assembly poll results. Both the Congress and the Congress-led UPA government at the Center need to change their attitudes,” he said.

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