Patna: Defying party line, senior BJP leader CP Thakur on Sunday defended former chief minister Nitish Kumar in the medicine scam saying that it was unfair to cast aspersions on the integrity and honesty of the JD(U) leader.
"I have known Nitish Kumar for decades....He is an upright person known for honesty and integrity in public life," Thakur told reporters here.
When told that his own party leaders, led by former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, have questioned Kumar's role in the multi-crore medicine scam, Thakur said that as far as he was concerned Nitish Kumar was honest to the core and it would be unfair to cast aspersion on him in the scam.
Regretting the ongoing 'letter war' between the former chief minister and his erstwhile deputy over the scam as a "sad development", the senior BJP leader, who was health minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said that it must stop at once and the investigating agencies be allowed to probe the matter to bring the culprits to book.
Thakur's remarks defending the former chief minister have assumed significance as Modi has been leading campaign against Nitish Kumar, charging him with presiding over the medicine purchase scam at the time he held the health department after sacking the BJP ministers, a charge that the former chief minister has flatly denied.