Led by party chief Rajnath Singh, the BJP Sunday raised the pitch against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, telling party workers at a meeting in Patna to get ready for Narendra Modi’s rally in October, and hinting that the Gujarat CM was the obvious choice for PM candidate.
Addressing a huge gathering of BJP workers from over 8,000 Bihar panchayats here, Rajnath asked Nitish why Modi had not been an issue within the NDA for 10 years, and asked whether it was a fault “to announce the most popular leader of the country and architect of a successful development model” the BJP campaign committee head.
Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar’s deputy CM till a week ago, hinted that the Gujarat CM was the obvious PM choice. “While the BJP parliamentary board may not have decided on a PM candidate, the people seem to have chosen Narendra Modi, who comes from a poor family. It is up to the people of the country to decide whom they want: a tea vendor’s son or one who gets his dress washed in England and celebrates his birthday in a foreign land (in a reference to Rahul Gandhi).”
All top state BJP leaders, including Ramlal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, C P Thakur, Mangal Pandey and Nand Kishore Yadav were present at the meeting.
Taking a dig at Nitish, Sushil Kumar Modi added that pride and arrogance often lead to one’s fall. “How can Narendra Modi be divisive when he is asking people of five lakh villages to give iron pieces to make a statue of Sardar Patel? The man who is now busy saving lives of people in Uttarakhand cannot be divisive.”
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said the NDA government had perhaps erred in making Nitish railway minister at the expense of BJP leaders. Lashing out at Nitish’s “tilak and topi” speech during the JD(U) national council meeting in April, Hussain said: “Just by wearing a topi one does not become a well-wisher of Muslims. First the Congress did it, later the RJD and now the JD(U) is doing vote bank politics.”