Patna: Ahead of the upcoming Assembly Elections in the state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday voiced his displeasure over the appointment of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Nath Kovind as new Governor of the state, saying he was not consulted about it.
Nitish's party members even alleged that there was an attempt by the Centre to "destabilise" the ruling Janata Dal (United) government in Bihar.
Kumar said he got the information about the gubernatorial appointment through the media.
"As per the precedent so far, the central government, the Home Minister talks to the state government, its Chief Minister on it (appointment of Governor)... This time there is no consultation. I have also got the information (about the appointment) through media," Kumar told reporters here when asked about the appointment of Kovind.
Attacking the Centre, JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi said that Kovind's appointment without any discussion with the state Chief Minister goes against the spirit of cooperative federalism and alleged that the central government's move is against the recommendations of Sarkaria Commission.
"Such steps taken by the central government is nothing but an attempt to gain instantaneous political mileage. The central government is trying to destabilize the Bihar government. Janta Dal (U) condemns such malicious practices of the central government," Tyagi said in a press statement.
Tyagi also recalled that BJP members in Parliament were on Friday demanding President Rule in Bihar
"JD-U will hold talks with other opposition parties on Monday and would also demand for discussion in Parliament against the steps by the government to destablise the system of cooperative federalism.
"The central government is also trying to create Constitutional instability even in other states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam," the JD-U general secretary alleged.
69-year-old Kovind, who had been a two-time Rajya Sabha member between 1994 and 2006, hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. His appointment came barely few months ahead of the Assembly Elections due in Bihar. West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi was holding additional charge of Bihar.
A lawyer by profession, Kovind had also been BJP Scheduled Castes Morcha chief.
Pitted against a formidable combine of Kumar and Lalu, the BJP has set its eye on the extremely backward communities and the Dalits to weave a magical combination along with the upper castes.
While Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan is part of the NDA, the alliance has also tied up with former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whom Kumar had unceremoniously removed from the top chair.
Manjhi comes from the Mushar community, which is classified as Mahadalits or underprivileged SC, and the BJP hopes its Dalit outreach in Bihar would be detrimental to Kumar.
Altogether 21 out of 23 SC communities in Bihar are classified as Mahadalit, which receive special focus and funds under government schemes.
Meanwhile, Dr Dev Vrat Acharya was appointed the new governor of Himachal Pradesh. Acharya currently heads the Gurukul Kurukshetra, an institution founded by Swami Shradhananda and currently run by Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Rohtak.
Acharya is known for his proximity to senior RSS leaders and has been closely associated with yoga guru Ramdev. He would replace Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, who had been holding the additional charge of Himachal Pradesh since January this year.
The Election Commission is yet to announce the dates of Bihar Assembly elections, but Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that the poll process in the state will be completed before November 29.
(With PTI inputs)