Patna: Terming the massive mandate to the JD(U)-BJP coalition as “historic”, incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday thanked the people of Bihar for handing him a second term in office.
He said, while addressing media people in Patna, “It is clear that the NDA is set to get a huge majority. I would like to thank the people of Bihar for this and would like to add that this is actually a victory for the people of Bihar, rather than (for the) coalition.”
Nitish Kumar said that the people of Bihar were faced with a pertinent question, “Whether they would like to move forward or go back to the age of darkness.” And the people had made their verdict very clear.
The mandate, the CM said, was a clear indication that “Bihar has moved on”. Nitish said the result was an encouraging indication of the fact that “Bihar had voted for development”, and that he felt “huge responsibility” at the faith shown in him.
“The days of caste politics and empty talk are over,” he added. The CM felt that the results in Bihar “held important lessons” for the entire country about the kind of politics that needed to be practiced.
“Whenever there is competition now, it should be about who works more for the people. Earlier it depended on who could manage elections better. Some people were not willing to read the message on the wall. The results are out and for all see,” he continued.
Talking about the performance of his government the JD(U) leader said, “We have worked hard in the past five years and will work even harder now. My humble application to the people is that I will not shirk from hard work. Many obstacles may arise. Sometimes nature plays truant, but we will not waver from our resolve to move forward.”
The Bihar CM also praised women in the state for coming out to participate in the Assembly Elections in “historic numbers”. “All the people were enthusiastic to vote, especially people who are the most deprived as well as the youth.”
He added, “We will try to give this enthusiasm in the people a creative expression and improve our performance even further. Most of all, I will try to take all the people along.”
Nitish said that while some work has been completed, the future course would be a “great challenge” which he was willing to take up. “People of Bihar have scripted a new story. I promise to give my best.”
Talking about the negative publicity, the Bihar CM said that he was not willing to criticize the media. “I concentrated only on work, the rest fell in place. The same media which was continuously showing pictures of areas ravaged by Kosi floods, also reported good work done by us.”
“I have set a target of making Bihar a developed state by 2015, I am completely focused on this goal.” Nitish also joked with the media people gathered, “While you may have faced problems to cover this event, I am sure your journey was more comfortable,” indicating the improvement in road infrastructure.
Nitish said that he had been curious about the results but never expected such a huge win. While thanking the Election Commission, he urged it to have “more faith in Bihar” and “not prolong the election process so much,” as no untoward incident had taken place even in areas where paramilitary could not be deployed.
On a question about whether he had now set eyes on prime ministership, Nitish made his mind amply clear, “With folded hands, I would like to say that I aspire to work for Bihar. I am not going to look left or right. Neither am I willing to fall in any trap.”
Nitish told media people that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already congratulated him at the resounding victory.
About the date of the swearing-in, Nitish Kumar indicated that, “unofficially” it was slated for this Friday (November 26).