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Nitish invites ire for sharing dais with Modi
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 11
The show of strength by NDA chief ministers and BJP-ruled states in Ludhiana on Sunday must have brought jubilation in the NDA camp and the BJP also has reasons to go gaga over its Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar clasping each other’s hands on the dais as a mark of solidarity. But back home in Bihar, Nitish is virtually in the eye of a storm for sharing the dais with the Gujarat Chief Minister.

Almost all local newspapers have carried the photograph of smiling Nitish and Modi with their arm raised together in the Ludhiana rally very prominently on the front page. The Urdu press has also given a lot of prominence to this news and photograph with strong reactions from various political parties and leaders.

The most sought after leader by every alliance other than the NDA till a day before the Ludhiana rally, Nitish is now drawing flak from different political parties, including the Congress, for this action. Bihar Congress chief Anil Kumar Sharma charged him with taking the minority community for a ride for electoral gains. Sharma said he could not believe his eyes when he saw Nitish and Modi sharing the dais and enjoying each others company on the TV screen.

The man, who did not allow his Gujarat counterpart to enter Bihar even to campaign for the BJP candidates in the elections and strongly opposed his candidature as the future Prime Minister of NDA, lost no time after the polls to embrace him, Sharma quipped.

RJD chief Lalu Yadav went out of the way to express his anger over the coming together of his archrival Nitish and Modi. Calling the Gujarat CM “a murderer”, Lalu also took a pot shot at AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi for giving the certificate of ‘secular’ to Nitish.

LJP chief RamVilas Paswan was also very much critical of Bihar CM over this issue and said this has exposed the real face of Nitish Kumar.

On his part, Nitish Kumar defended his participation in the Ludhiana rally saying that it was organised by the NDA and the chief ministers of all NDA-ruled states had gone to attend it. He also tried to underplay his ‘over friendly gestures’ towards Modi by saying that it was Modi who caught his hand and raised it. “I could not have forced him not to do it’, Nitish clarified.

Notwithstanding all his clarifications, his presence besides the Gujarat CM on the dais is going to give a serious jolt to all his efforts to woo the minority community for last three years. Despite having the BJP as his ally in the government, Nitish had assiduously cultivated the faith and support of Muslim community to establish his secular credentials by taking many such measures for their welfare, they may have never dreamt of from the NDA government in Bihar.

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