Prez programme finalised by Rashtrapati Bhawan: Nitish on Modi rally

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar denied allegations by BJP of trying to thwart Narendra Modi`s rally by `deliberately` coinciding it with the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee.

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday denied allegations by BJP of trying to thwart his bete noir Narendra Modi`s rally here on October 27 by `deliberately` coinciding it with the visit of President Pranab Mukherjee and said the schedule was finalised by Rashtrapati Bhawan itself.
"President Pranab Mukherjee`s two-day programme in the state on October 26 and 27 was finalised by Rashtrapati Bhawan in July end itself. The state government was not consulted, hence we have no role in the programme scheduling," Kumar told reporters here.

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the party`s `Hoonkar rally` at Gandhi Maidan here on October 27, his first in Nitish Kumar`s home turf after JD(U) split from NDA.

Official sources said Mukherjee would grace the convocation of IIT here on October 26 and on the next day go to Ara to unveil the statue of former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram.

Kumar said for such programmes, the state governments are sometimes consulted and sometimes not. "In this case we were not consulted and the entire itinerary has been finalised by Rashtrapati Bhawan."

Asked to comment on BJP`s memorandum to the President requesting rescheduling of his tour in view of the rally, Kumar said its between them (BJP) and Rashtrapati bhawan.

"The state government will do everything mandated to it for the presidential visit," he said..

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and his party colleagues crying hoarse over the issue, he said adding "They are doing this to gain publicity for the rally."

A JD(U) leader had demanded a ban on the BJP rally, which the party was totally against ``as every political party has right to organise the rally,`` Kumar added.