Patna: The man of the moment, Nitish Kumar, on Sunday promised to the people of Bihar that he will fulfil their aspirations and respect the massive mandate that they had given to the Grand Alliance.
Addressing a press conference here, Nitish said, "I congratulate the people of Bihar. This is a victory of pride of Bihar," adding, "The people of Bihar have shown today that they had made up their mind to vote for us. We have got support from all sections of society - women, backward caste, mahadalits and everyone else. Clear mandate for Grand Alliance reflects the wisdom of the people of Bihar and the mandate given by the people has reflected the mood across the nation."
"This is a big victory. We accept it with humbleness. People have hope from us. Bihar needs to surge ahead. We understand the aspirations of the people and we will work according to their wishes," promised Nitish.
Looking ahead he said, "JD(U), RJD and Congress have been given a thumps up by the people and we will work together with positivity and constructive mind and unity. The Grand Alliance were together throughout the elections and there was no controversy."
Kumar also talked about the impact that the Bihar elections will have nationally. "Eyes of the whole country was on Bihar. The Bihar elections will have national ramification. In a democracy people do not want the Opposition to be weak. They want Opposition to be strong and play a constructive role."
This statement could be construed as a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
However the JD(U) leader added, "We will respect the Opposition in Bihar and we hope to work together and build a consensus on important issues."
"Everyone congratulated us. The PM also extended his congratulations. Whatever happened in the polls will not affect our work for Bihar," he said.
On his part, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was sitting next to Kumar also echoed his partner's sentiments and said, "There will be long term implications of Bihar results on the country. Efforts were made to communalise the society but people of the state defeated that attempt."
"Narendra Modi must be disappointed. The PM thought Bihar was like Haryana and Maharashtra," Lalu quipped, adding, "Now we will attack Delhi, will march towards Varanasi with Lantern (RJD's party symbol). BJP's plan was to enter Kolkata through Bihar, but voters have stopped their journey."
"Even Gandhi would be ashamed if he saw the way India was being divided today," the RJD chief added.
Clearing the air as to who will head the government in the state Lalu reiterated, "I have been saying right from the beginning that government will be headed by Nitish Kumar."
The Grand Alliance dealt a massive blow to the BJP-led NDA in Bihar in the 243-member state Legislative Assembly.