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Anti-BJP front will come up at centre after Bihar elections: CM Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi, Bihar Assembly election 2015,Bihar Polls,Nitish Kumar, Anti-BJP, job reservations, Janata Dal, NDA government

Anti-BJP front will come up at centre after Bihar elections: CM Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi, Bihar Assembly election 2015,Bihar Polls,Nitish  Kumar, Anti-BJP, job reservations, Janata Dal, NDA government

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said there will be a consolidation of an anti-BJP front at the Centre that will include Congress after the Bihar elections and added that defeat in the state could rekindle inner-party democracy in Bharatiya Janata Party.

"There will be traction (for an anti-BJP alliance) at the national level. People will think about it. There is great interest in the whole country in what happens in Bihar. People are waiting for the victory of the Grand Alliance."

"Bahut bada vatavaran banega (A strong political atmosphere will be created). People want a healthy democracy, a strong Opposition," Kumar told ET during the course of a wide-ranging interview that lasted over 100 minutes at his house on Dussehra eve.

Kumar said he supported job reservations in the private sector as opportunities in the government and public sector were drying up. "If reservations are not extended to the private sector, how will people come into the mainstream?"

The Bihar chief minister also accused BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of attempting to ferment communal disturbances in Bihar since 2013.

Sounding upbeat about his alliance's prospects in the Bihar polls that are currently underway, Kumar said the elections in the state were progressing as he had anticipated and that BJP's prospects had been overestimated.

"Contrary to the analysis done before the elections, BJP isn't a force in Bihar. BJP has a certain way of working. Ek high-profile publicity karte hain. They think by media management they will be able to create a situation beneficial for themselves. But that wasn't the case from day one," he asserted.

Kumar is leading the Grand Alliance, comprising his Janata Dal (United), Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, which is pitted against the National Democratic Alliance whose campaign is being spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. While political stakes are high, there is a personal angle as well. Kumar had ended a successful and longstanding alliance with BJP in Bihar after the party selected Modi as its PM candidate, only to be trounced by a Modi--led BJP in last year's general elections.


When asked whether a BJP defeat in Bihar would render the NDA government in Delhi ineffective, Kumar said: "I can't say all that. All I can say is that within BJP, democracy shayad phir se zinda hone lage."

The JD(U) leader appeared to be suggesting that, as has been speculated by a few political observers, some dissidence may break out in BJP if it loses. Most political observers and opinion polls project the five-phase state elections that will conclude on November 5 as being too close to call. But the Kumar camp believes it has the edge. While the chief minister refused to comment on how many seats he expected his alliance to win, sources close to him claimed it was on course to win 160-plus.

Lashing out at Modi for remaining silent on Dadri and other controversial issues, Kumar rejected the contention that the PM can't be expected to comment on every law and order issue in the country. Referring to BJP's statement that the prime minister was not the SP (superintendent of police) of Dadri, Kumar said, "He comes to Patna and gives a speech on one murder of a young IPS (Indian Police Service) officer... SP nahi hain to yahan Patna main kyun ban rahe the IG (inspector general of police) ..

Alluding to Dadri, Kumar said an incident like this makes people very worried. "So who should speak to ease people's anxiety on an incident like Dadri? The leader of the country, PM. He should have said this is an isolated incident and the law will take its course. That would have instilled confidence in people... why should he see it merely as a law and order problem? Is it a small thing that an atmosphere of distrust is being created in society? Our country is so diverse and you have to be sensitive to it," he said.

The chief minister alleged that BJP and RSS have been trying to foment communal disturbances in Bihar since the breakdown of the BJPJD( U) alliance in 2013, but their attempts had been thwarted by a vigilant administration. "I observed that after the alliance broke (up), the incidents increased... when they couldn't create a polarised environment or a big incident, they resorted to small ones. The police force and the administration have been on alert. We have ensured our response time is very quick. We worked very hard to set up the system," he said, adding, "Which is why the issue of beef and cow slaughter did not find traction."


On Mohan Bhagwat's controversial comments on reservations, which were disowned by BJP, Kumar said the RSS chief had been honest on the issue and had expressed the Sangh's ideology. Accusing BJP of being dishonest on reservations, he said the party played with the psychology of the people. "They think people's thoughts are caste-oriented. That is why they will talk about an OBC (other backward class) PM or talk about how many of their CMs are OBC. But BJP's thought process cannot be different from RSS. What identity will they have if they separate from RSS?" he said.

Kumar said BJP in Gujarat had grown because of its anti-reservation stance. The Patels were against reservations and supported BJP, and now the biggest opponents are demanding reservation.

"The Patel agitation is testimony to the fact that there has been one-sided growth of the Gujarat economy. The Gujarat model has failed. That's why they (Gujarat government) are trying to scare the agitators," he said.

Opposing reservations on the basis of economic backwardness, Kumar said reservations were not meant for fighting poverty but for giving importance to people who had been on the margins of society for centuries.

"For economic backwardness, there are several schemes that can be run. No one will have a problem with that. The poor belong to all castes," he said.

The JD(U) leader refuted BJP's charge that a government backed by Lalu Prasad-led RJD would result in a return to 'jungle raj' in Bihar. Kumar said he would not compromise on law and order, and that since he resumed office as CM earlier this year, Prasad had not interfered in law and order issues.

He added that on the one hand BJP was wooing Prasad's support base, the Yadavs, and on the other hand it was accusing them of being lawless. "It's a very wrong thing to accuse a community of believing in lawlessness," he said. he said.

src: ET

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