Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has rejected claims by BJP MP and his former deputy Sushil Kumar Modi that some people in Mr Kumar’s party sent feelers to nominate the Chief Minister for the Vice President’s post.
“We supported the NDA candidates in the presidential and vice presidential elections. It’s a joke about me wanting to become the Vice President,” Mr Kumar said a day after taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister for a record eighth time.
Mr Modi yesterday said the same Janata Dal (United) leaders, who asked for Mr Kumar to be made Vice President, approached him with a plan that he could become Bihar Chief Minister if Mr Kumar goes to Delhi.
“Some JD(U) people had come to say that make ‘Nitish Kumar the Vice President and you should rule in Bihar’,” Mr Modi told reporters.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Lalan Singh, too, had dismissed Mr Modi’s allegations yesterday. He said when media reports first speculated that Mr Kumar would likely be the opposition presidential or vice presidential candidate if he snapped ties with the BJP then, the JD(U) had clearly denied the possibility of any such thing happening. “They are just making up stories,” the JD(U) chief said, responding to Mr Modi.
Mr Kumar broke ties with the BJP over a range of a reasons, chief among them his worries that the BJP may try to do a Maharashtra in Bihar, that it had been working in the shadows to hollow out the JD(U) from inside.
Mr Kumar also wanted a larger say in selecting BJP ministers in his earlier cabinet. But this move would have undermined Home Minister Amit Shah’s perceived grip on Bihar through the selection of ministers seen as close to him.