Quota row: Nitish Kumar hits out at BJP, says RSS is like its Supreme Court
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleging it was "anti-reservation" and toes the line of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is "like its Supreme Court".
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleging it was "anti-reservation" and toes the line of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is "like its Supreme Court".
The Bihar CM also announced the list of 242 candidates of his alliance for Assembly Elections, with a major chunk from SC/ST and backward communities.
Addressing a press conference here, Kumar claimed the grand alliance stood united as there were no differences unlike in the NDA and said the people of Bihar will give a befitting reply to the BJP as they were watching its "divisive" politics.
He released the joint list of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress candidates of the coalition and said it represents all sections of society with 16 percent from general category, 55 percent backwards, 15 percent SCs/STs and 14 percent from the minority community.
Hitting out at BJP and RSS, he accused them of being against reservations and said the RSS, which was the ideological mentor of BJP, was seeking to install an "extra-constitutional" body to review reservations.
"It is clear that he (Bhagwat) feels the current policy of reservation is not right and wants some other system," he said, while reading out excerpts of the RSS chief's interview to RSS mouthpiece 'Organiser' and 'Panchjanya'.
"Any amendment in Constitution can be done in Parliament. They want some body other than the Constitution, an extra-constitutional authority, which should look into who should get reservation and how long.”
"Not in the Constitution or in Parliament but in the hands of the elite committee. It is a very dangerous view. It cannot be accepted," he said.
Questioning BJP's stand on reservation, he said whatever the ruling party may say it cannot go against the views of the RSS.
"The BJP has a government at the Centre, which has repeatedly claimed that they are proud to be Swayamsevaks.”
"RSS view is final. Whatever BJP might say, it has no meaning. Like anything is decided by the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, it is final and there is nothing after that. The same way in RSS, if RSS chief says something then BJP has no say.”
"The BJP is a political outfit of RSS and Swayamsevaks and pracharaks are part of this government. Whatever Bhagwat has said is final and there is no other thought," he said, charging the BJP with being against reservations.
The Bihar CM said development will be the main poll plank of the alliance and took a dig at the NDA coalition where differences among alliance partners were out in the open.
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"It is an internal matter of BJP and we have nothing to say on this. People are watching BJP's politics and will give a reply," he said.
Today is the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of polls.
The JD-U and RJD will contest 101 seats each while the Congress will contest 41 seats of the 243 Assembly seats of Bihar, elections for which will be held in five stages between October 12 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
Nitish Kumar claimed that the list of 242 candidates was prepared after long deliberations with alliance partners, who had authorised him to release the names jointly.
He said candidate for one more seat will be announced in a day or two.
"Development is the biggest issue in this election. BJP talks of development, but does divisive politics, be it on lines of caste or religion," he said.
The five-phase Bihar Assembly polls start on October 12 and end on November 5 and counting will take place on November 8.
Election will be held to 49 of the 243 Assembly seats in the first phase.
Kumar said name of the candidate for Rajgir (SC) seat would be declared later.
As per the joint list, RJD President Lalu Prasad's two sons -- Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav -- will contest from Yadav-dominated Mahua and Raghopur seats respectively.
Both the seats in Vaishali district were with the JD(U) in 2010.
Apprehending the reverse, Mahua MLA Ravindra Rai has joined HAM(S) and is nominated by that party while at Raghopur Satish Kumar, who had defeated Rabri Devi in 2010, has joined BJP which has fielded him from the seat.
State presidents of constituent parties JD(U), RJD and Congress -- Basistha Narayan Singh, Ramchandra Purbe and Ashok Chaudhary were present at the release of list by the chief minister.
As per seat sharing, JD(U) and RJD are contesting 101 seats each while Congress is fielding candidates in 41 seats.
A total of 25 women candidates have been given tickets forming 10 percent of the total.
JD(U) has relied on its core support base in Kurmi and Kushwaha castes. RJD tilt is towards backward Yadav caste and Muslims while Congress nominees were mainly from general category. Asked about it, Kumar said, "Wach party has its area of influence and this has been kept in mind."
RJD has chosen Subedar Singh against former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM-S) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi at Makhdumpur (SC). At Imamganj (SC), the Speaker of outgoing Assembly Uday Narayan Chaudhary has been retained to take on Manjhi who is contesting from two seats.
Immediately after the list of candidates was announced, a large number of people protested at the JD(U) office against denial of tickets to persons of their choice.
Kumar and other leaders were present in the party office while slogan shouting was going on outside the gate.
(With Agency inputs)