Patna: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s desire to become the prime minister will remain a dream, his foe and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday.
Launching a bitter attack on Modi, two days after he hit out at Nitish Kumar here, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader also blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the collapse of the BJP-JD-U alliance in June.
In his concluding speech at a two-day JD-U convention at Rajgir in Nalanda district, about 100km from here, Kumar repeatedly made fun of his Gujarat counterpart but without mentioning Modi’s name.
Describing Modi as “the man who came here two days ago”, Nitish Kumar said his dream of becoming the prime minister will remain just that — a dream.
“[Modi] is not talking democratic language. He is using fascist language when he asked his supporters thrice in a row to ‘punish me’ and ‘eliminate me and my party’ in the next general election,” Nitish Kumar said.
He said in politics, winning and getting defeated in elections go together. But there were no bloody battles and calling for “elimination is fascist language”.
He compared Modi’s prime ministerial “dream” with what he described as the “BJP hype” over Modi.
“Like his cooked up stories about me, this ‘hava’ (wind) is not natural. It has been produced by a blower.”
In any case, Nitish Kumar went on, anyone aspiring to become the prime minister of a country like India should learn to be patient — and sober.
“The way he was wiping his sweat and drinking huge quantities of water” while addressing a BJP rally here on Sunday showed he was “waiting to attack me”, the Bihar chief minister said.
Nitish Kumar said it was not he who ended the 17-year-long alliance with the BJP but it was the latter which created conditions that led to the bitter divorce.
“It is the BJP which is responsible for the split that weakened the anti-Congress sentiments in the country amid price rise and corruption.”
Nitish Kumar said that while Gujaratis were known for their love for sweets, there was nothing “sweet” about the way Modi spoke about critics at public rallies.
Before Nitish Kumar targeted Modi, JD-U MP Shivanand Tiwari stunned party leaders and activists when he praised Modi for his political growth despite humble beginnings.
“I am a harsh critic of Modi. But the way he has achieved his stature after a long struggle, from being a tea vendor to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, should be praised,” he said.
The remarks triggered a howl of protests, with several delegates shouting slogans against Tiwari and asking him to shut up.