Patna: After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, it was Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan`s turn today to describe Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as secular.
"Nitish Kumar is secular and a nice man ... He has become pure after coming out of bad water pond of BJP," Khan told reporters here.
Asked how Kumar could be called secular when he had been an ally of BJP for long 17 years, the minister said "as a fish becomes clean after coming out of a pond of bad water, so too Kumar has become clean after coming out of his allaince with BJP."
Khan is scheduled to meet Kumar tomorrow to discuss implementation of welfare programes run by his ministry for minorities.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had described Kumar as secular, triggering speculation about Congress warming up to him to reach a tie-up with JD(U). The speculation began when four members of CLP voted for JD(U) in the trust motion on June 19 after JD(U) severed ties with BJP.
Khan made a veiled attack on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying "today, people consider themselves as messiah of some region but the fact is that only Congress can take everybody together."
Congress, he claimed, was the `biggest champion` of the minority Muslim community and referred to the implementation of Sachar Committee recommendations and creating a separate ministry of Minority Affairs.