Amidst the growing signs of rift in the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar on Sunday once again attacked Congress — its ally in the state — at the party executive meeting in Patna, CNN-News18 reported.
Nitish Kumar slammed Congress saying that the grand old party has ”dumped Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology”.
“We do not follow anyone, we are clear with our principles,” CNN-News18 quoted Kumar as saying.
Kumar blamed Congress for the current mess in the Opposition, adding that the “idea of a Sangh-mukt Bharat cannot fructify without taking all opposition parties into confidence”, reported The Indian Express.
Kumar expressed his displeasure with Congress over the way the party declared their presidential candidate. He also blamed Congress for not taking his party into confidence for the presidential polls, adds the report.
Kumar, however, refrained from making any comment against Rashtriya Janata Dal or its leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s rally “BJP hatao, desh bachao”, scheduled for August.
“We will definitely participate in the rally if RJD extends its invitation to our leader Nitish Kumar,” Bihar JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh told reporters in Patna on Saturday. Earlier there were media reports that JD(U) would not participate in the RJD’s August rally.
The news of trouble in the Grand Alliance has been doing the rounds since the JD(U) unilaterally announced its support to former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, NDA’s presidential candidate.
According to a report in the Times of India, Kumar was unhappy with Congress general-secretary Ghulam Nabi Azads’s remark made at an iftar dinner in Patna on 21 June about the presidential election.
Azad had reportedly criticised JD(U) chief indirectly at the iftar dinner. “People who have one principle make one decision, but those who believe in many principles make different decisions,” NDTV quoted Azad as saying during the meet.
The JD(U) had taken this as “character assassination” and had said that support to Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature was a one-time matter.