Nitish wins easily, lashes out at BJP

Bihar chief minister and JD(U) strongman Nitish Kumar on Wednesday won the trust vote he sought in the state Assembly to enable his party to rule for the next two years and a half without former NDA ally BJP’s support.
The JD(U), having the numerical upper hand with its 117 MLAs except the Speaker, easily mustered 126 votes, just a little above the simple majority mark of 122 in Bihar’s 243-member Assembly, with the help of four of Bihar’s six Independent MLAs, all the four MLAs of the Congress and a lone CPI legislator. The BJP, which has 91 MLAs and has now become the main Opposition party, boycotted the House after a fiery speech by one of its senior leaders, former Bihar NDA convenor Nand Kishore Yadav, bitterly criticised Mr Kumar. The RJD, formerly Bihar’s main Opposition party with 22 MLAs, voted against the confidence motion along with two Independent MLAs.
An aggressive Mr Kumar used the moment to hit out at the BJP and assiduously targeted Gujarat chief minister and BJP icon Narendra Modi in a 40-minute speech in the Assembly — without ever naming either the BJP or Modi. Blaming the BJP squarely for the JD(U)’s decision to end the two parties’ 17-year-old national alliance and seven years of power-sharing in Bihar, Mr Kumar said it was silly for the saffron party to aim at capturing power at the Centre with a Modi wave. He predicted the BJP’s defeat under Mr Modi’s leadership and in the absence of regional allies.
“If they (BJP) believe a certain name (Modi) will bring a storm of support for them, it is a mere daydream and it will collapse soon. The RSS has clearly said it wanted a Hindutva line of action...” said Mr Kumar. “They (BJP) were unhappy whenever I narrated Bihar’s inclusive growth model as a joint achievement of our two ruling parties. If another model of development (Gujarat’s) is imposed on us, we (JD-U) will not accept it. Their praise of the other model is like an imposition,” he added.
Dismissing the BJP’s perceived swell of support for Mr Modi as a short-lived phenomenon created by the corporate houses, Mr Kumar attacked the BJP’s efforts to project Mr Modi as an OBC leader, saying one does not become so just by being born in an OBC family and being a well-wisher of corporate houses.
“In the campaigns for major recent elections in Bihar, in which we (BJP and JD-U) won massive mandates, the slogan ‘New Bihar’ was tagged to my name. Why was not his (Modi) name used? I was even ready to resign (as CM) in June 2010 when he (Modi) publicised a small `5-crore aid (sic) for the Kosi floods by newspaper advertisements,” Mr Kumar said.

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