Patna, June 23;Terming former ally Janata Dal (United)’s growing proximity to the Congress as “a mistake”, the BJP president Rajnath Singh said in Patna on Sunday that the Congress never allowed regional parties to flourish under its wing and those who ally with it will be extinct from Indian politics.
“No party has flourished after going with the Congress. Those who go with the Congress will be wiped out from Indian politics. We had warned the JD (U) to beware of the Congress, but they still went to their side. It is a mistake,” Mr. Singh said in his address party workers in Bihar on the occasion of the death anniversary of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Referring to the dismissal of BJP ministers by Nitish Kumar ahead of the split, Mr. Singh said, “Indian people will never accept such humiliation by a friend. We did not want this 17-year-old relationship to end.”
“Was it my crime that I made the most popular leader Narendra Modi head of the poll panel? When elections are round the corner every party prepares for a victory. Everyone wants a capable person to take care of the rough and tumble of elections. From 2002 to 2013, Mr. Modi was not an issue. How did he become one in 2013? What is Mr. Modi’s crime?” Mr. Singh asked.
The BJP president said Gujarat had emerged as the model of growth, which was being talked about abroad.
Attacking the Congress, Mr. Singh said despite a long spell of Congress rule, India was still counted among the poor nations. “The Congress has lowered India’s dignity before the world. India’s pride and sovereignty are in jeopardy with Chinese incursions. Only the BJP can save India from this situation.”
He invoked the anti-Congress socialist wave led by Jayprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia, of which Nitish Kumar was a part. “The BJP has played a big role in fostering JP’s vision. Like JP and Lohia we wanted to free the country from the Congress’ bad governance. No party was successful in increasing its stature before the Congress, except the BJP,” Mr. Singh said.
Bihar’s politics greatly impacted national politics. With every political churning in Bihar, national politics too underwent a churning. With an eye on 2014, urged workers to form booth committees and hold regular meetings. “Bihar should get 40 Lok Sabha seats,” he said.
BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, said Mr. Kumar had split from the BJP to attract minority vote.
“Muslim vote accounts for 17 per cent of the total electorate. He has not parted ways out of love for the Muslim community, but out of love for their votes. His love for the PM post made him break away from the alliance,” he said.
Mr. Hussain said both the Congress and Mr. Prasad have only cheated the minorities. They now had a new contender in Mr. Kumar. Referring to Mr. Kumar’s “topi and tikka” speech, he said, “The topi was for worship, not for politics.”
Former Bihar Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said Bihar will take one step towards the Lok Sabha elections with Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna on October 27. He said Mr. Kumar cannot take all the credit for ending Lalu Prasad’s rule in the State.
Refuting Mr. Kumar’s charge of divisiveness, Sushil Modi said, “How can an individual who pays a tribute to Sardar Patel, who is helping in Uttarakhand be divisive? The one we want to make Prime Minister is helping the relief work. The one [Rahul Gandhi] they [Congress and allies] want to make PM is celebrating his birthday in England.”
Questioning Mr. Kumar’s aversion to Narendra Modi, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad asked, “When people choose [Modi] as PM, won’t [Mr. Kumar] talk to him? He returned the fund for Kosi floods. If he had the courage he could have resigned in 2002 itself. But for the seat of power and red beacon, he needed the BJP. He has to answer for this betrayal.’