People will give befitting reply to Nitish Kumar for ‘betrayal’: Opposition parties


NEW DELHI: The Congress, RJD and other parties of the INDIA bloc on Sunday slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for ”betraying” the opposition alliance ahead of Lok Sabha elections after he joined hands with the BJP, with some even calling him a ”chameleon” and ”Paltu Ram” for frequently changing sides.

The parties warned that the people of Bihar will give a ”befitting reply” to Kumar and the BJP, with his former deputy and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav even saying that JD(U) is all set to be ”finished in Lok Sabha polls”.

The BJP, however, said its alliance with Kumar was ”natural” and asserted that the ”double engine government” of the NDA would benefit Bihar. Party leaders also claimed that the INDIA bloc would soon disintegrate as the alliance has ”no ideological basis”.

Leaders of the Congress, RJD, DMK, JMM, TMC, CPI(ML)-L and AAP attacked Kumar after the INDIA bloc received a major setback with his stunning volte face, less than 18 months after he parted ways with the BJP and formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in Bihar.

Lashing out at Kumar, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it is clear that a ”political drama” is being created to divert attention from his party’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

He said it is clear that the prime minister (Narendra Modi) and the BJP are ”scared” of the yatra being undertaken by Rahul Gandhi, which is set to enter Bihar.

In a post on ‘X in Hindi’, Ramesh said, ”Nitish Kumar, who frequently changes political partners, is giving a tough competition to chameleons in changing colours.” The people of Bihar will not forgive this ”expert of betrayal” and those who are making him dance to their tunes, he said.

Ramesh, however, said the INDIA bloc is strong, and ”we will unitedly fight against the BJP and all parties like DMK, NCP, TMC and SP will fight it together”.

The TMC said Kumar is ”known for his political somersaults at regular intervals” and asserted that people will respond to such ”opportunism”.

”It is unfortunate that he has decided to quit the opposition grouping INDIA and is likely to join the NDA. The people will give a befitting reply to such political opportunism,” Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Roy said.

Kumar on Sunday announced that he was leaving the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance which includes RJD, Congress and Left parties) and the INDIA bloc, of which he was the coarchitect, and was later sworn in as the chief minister of the NDA government.

Congratulating Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his two deputies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the newly sworn-in NDA government will leave no stone unturned for the development of Bijar and fulfilling its people’s aspirations.

BJP chief J P Nadda said the NDA government headed by Kumar will make ‘Ujjwal Bihar’.

”The people of Bihar had given the mandate in the last assembly polls to our natural alliance with Nitish Kumar. Bihar has gained whenever we have been in power together, be it in terms of law and order or economic development,” he said.

Many opposition leaders like Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said they knew that Kumar could defect.

”There are many people like ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ in the country,” Kharge said referring to the expression used for political turncoats.

Kharge said if Kumar wanted to stay, he would have stayed.

”Therefore, we already knew this, but we did not say anything to keep the INDIA bloc intact. Lalu Prasad ji and Tejashwi Yadav ji had already given us this information. Today, it has become true,” Kharge said.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said Kumar was a ”respectable” but ”tired” leader and warned the BJP that the septuagenarian did not like to share ”credit” with allies.

”Whatever may be the excuses Nitish ji makes for switching sides, his JD(U) is all set to be finished (khatam hone wala hai) in Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

The CPI(ML) Liberation, which supported the Mahagathbandhan government from the outside, said that Kumar, ”who has had the longest stint as CM”, will be used by the RSS-BJP combine ”as its pawn”.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in a post on ‘X’ in Hindi said, ”The BJP has never been so weak as it has become today. Today, a new record of betrayal has been made.” ”The public will give a befitting reply to this. There can be no greater defeat than someone not believing in you as a person…The public will respond to this insult by defeating the BJP alliance in the Lok Sabha election,” Yadav said in another post in Hindi.

The NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said in a statement that Nitish Kumar will be remembered in political history as the ”great Paltu Ram” who loves ”jumping on the command of the BJP”.

”It is not surprising that he has done this ‘volte- face’ once again because he seems to be addicted to this kind of behaviour,” he said.

The NCP dubbed BJP the ”madari” of Nitish Kumar, who, it said ”loves jumping to their commands”.

”Nitish Kumar’s resignation was expected as betrayal has been his political character,” Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said.

The DMK said Kumar’s exit from INDIA is a ”loss” for the BJP and a ”gain” for the opposition alliance as people will never accept this act of betrayal.

”Though Kumar is a veteran leader in Bihar, he has completely lost credibility. He has no integrity. Integrity and credibility are very important for a leader,” DMK spokesperson J Constandine Ravindran said.

On the other hand, the JD(U) blamed the Congress for the collapse of the INDIA bloc, saying its leaders were only interested in strengthening their party and not the opposition grouping.

Janata Dal (U) spokesperson K C Tyagi told reporters that a ”caucus” within the Congress wanted to capture the INDIA bloc leadership and its president Mallikarjun Kharge’s name was proposed as the chairperson of the grouping as part of the conspiracy.

Another JD(U) spokesperson Rajib Ranjan was more severe in targeting the Congress, alleging that it has sunk itself by trying to make a person, who lacks any quality and harms the opposition alliance, as the prime minister.

Ranjan also described the Congress as ”Bhasmasur” (mythological demon whose touch would burn down anyone).

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on X, ”The dissolution of the INDI Alliance is now certain. This alliance had no ideological basis.” He later told reporters, ”When the INDI Alliance was formed, we told everyone that this would be short-lived because of ideological contradictions. Their only target was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. You cannot form an alliance to only oppose an individual”.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said, ”The three parties (JD(U), RJD and BJP) together have betrayed the people of Bihar on the issues they spoke about, the promises they made… their political ideology.” DMK leader TR Baalu said the JD(U) president had said during INDIA bloc meetings that ”only Hindi should be spoken” and the party tolerated it for the sake of cordiality in the alliance.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha said it was dangerous the way MLAs were ”bought” and governments toppled using money and threat of agencies.

”I had introduced a private member’s bill in Parliament to strengthen the Anti-Defection Law. This bill is very important to save democracy today,” Chadha said in a post on X in Hindi.

Source: Press Trust of India

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