By Abhay Kumar
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday ruled himself out as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the non-BJP parties during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“I am not a contender for the PM’s post for 2019 polls. In fact, I don’t harbor such aspirations. I am a leader of a small party and I know my limitations well,” said Nitish, who is also the national president of the Janata Dal (United).
Refusing to be drawn into any such controversy, he hastened to add, “Does anyone know what will happen in future? Five years back, how many people knew that Modi ji will become Prime Minister? But the voters in 2014 decided he had all the requisite qualities to don the mantle of Prime Minister…. But I have no such quality. Nor any such aspirations. In 2019, people will decide who is the best alternative.”
Breaking his silence on the issue of land deals carried out by his ruling alliance partner Lalu Prasad, Nitish said, “One person (Sushil Modi) is making allegations about land deals. While Lalu ji is responding to the charge. Who am I to react to all these issues?”
Nitish was responding on the sidelines of the Lok Samvad (also known as Public Interface) program here in the State Capital.
When a journo asked why he has so far refrained from ordering a probe into Lalu’s assets, Nitish said, “The Company Law comes under Centre’s jurisdiction. If the BJP leader (Sushil Modi) genuinely has some substantial evidence against Lalu Prasad, he should move the appropriate authority so that a thorough inquiry could unravel the truth. After all, there is a BJP-led Government at the Centre under which the ED, CBI and Income Tax department function.”
He lamented that the charges leveled by Modi against the RJD president were for dual purpose. “First, he (SuMo) wants to remain in the news every now and then. And secondly, a sincere attempt is being made how to drive a wedge between the ruling alliance partners in Bihar so that the Grand Alliance regime could be destabilized,” he argued.
On the ensuing presidential election, Nitish, who last month met Congress president Sonia Gandhi for a joint Opposition candidate, said, “The ruling party at the Centre should first try to build a consensus over the presidential candidate by taking everyone, including all the Opposition parties, into confidence. If that does not happen, we will field a joint Opposition nominee for the top post,” averred Nitish.
By Abhay Kumar