Patna: A day after senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said the post of Jharkhand Chief Minister belonged to tribals as a matter of their right, the BJP hit back saying leaders from Karpoori Thakur to Lalu Prasad would not have been at the helm in Bihar if the upper castes's stranglehold on the CM's post had continued.
Bihar was ruled by upper caste chief ministers for over three decades starting from 1937 to 1970, a tradition which could be broken only in 1970s and since then leaders of OBCs have been at the helm in the state for a quarter century, senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said blunting Kumar's criticism of the BJP selecting a non-tribal Raghuvar Das as the Jharkhand Chief Minister.
If the tradition of the chief minister's post going to upper caste had not been broken, then leaders ranging from Karpoori Thakur, Lalu Prasad and Jitan Ram Manjhi would not have ruled Bihar, he said in a statement.
Tearing to shreds the senior JD(U) leader's logic that Jharkhand chief minister's post belonged to the tribals as a matter of their right and tradition, Modi said neither Kumar nor the RJD supremo have a right to raise an issue related to the neighbouring state after steadfastly opposing its creation 14 years ago.
Terming Kumar's sympathy for tribals as 'mischievous', he asked the JD(U) and RJD to explain as to how many tribal candidates the two parties had put up during Jharkhand assembly polls recently.
Modi also charged the former Bihar chief minister with insulting the constitution by seeking to create a wedge between the tribals and non-tribals over the chief minister's issue.