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Bihar: Nitish Kumar Breaks Silence on Rahul Disqualification, Says ‘Watching What’s Happening

The Bihar Chief Minister claimed he did not comment as it was a court matter but his party had made its position clear.
Image Courtesy: PTI

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Finally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is de facto chief of the ruling Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday broke his silence on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case. Kumar said he had been “watching” what was happening, but claimed that as it was a court case, he never said anything on the issue. “Our party leaders have already stated and explained the party position on it,” he said.

"Baki kya ho raha hai,hum sab kuchh dekh rahe hai",Kumar told the media when asked about Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as the notice to vacate his official MP’s bungalow in New Delhi soon after.

The Chief Minister clarified that he had never made any comment or statement on the court issue since he was in politics.

Kumar had kept silent on the issue for five days, which was seen in some local Hindi dailies as part of his political strategy to again join hands with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, contrary to what he said today.

Unlike most Opposition leaders, including West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamta Banerjee, Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M) leader and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav, reacted strongly against the disqualification and termed it as ‘political vendetta’, Kumar has neither supported Rahul Gandhi nor questioned the disqualification decision.

However, JD-U national president Lalan Singh did criticise the Narendra Modi government for the Congress leader’s disqualification and blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP0 for the “attack on democracy.”

Early this week, the ruling Mahagathbandhan, including Congress, JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Left parties protested against the Central government over the disqualification.

The protest was staged inside and outside the Bihar Assembly. Earlier, the Mahagathbandhan leaders in one voice repeatedly said that the BJP-led government has been “conspiring to ensure an Opposition-free” country by targeting Rahul Gandhi. RJD leader and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav told the media that the Opposition needed to unite to counter such an attack on democracy by BJP.

Amid reports of speculation over Opposition unity to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Kumar reiterated the need for a strong and united Opposition to defeat the BJP and oust the Narendra Modi-led Central government. "My wish is that more and more Opposition parties join hands. We are waiting for it because this will provide strength and a united face to contest next Lok Sabha polls with vigour”, he said.

Kumar once again said that Congress should come out with its stand on Opposition unity “as we are waiting for it.”

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