In his ongoing war of words with the Congress, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today took a veiled dig at the Sonia Gandhi-led party, asking it to set the agenda for the Opposition and not “indulge in reactionary politics”.
“I have said this earlier too. The Congress is a big party and should set an alternative narrative and agenda for the Opposition,” Nitish said in a press conference in Patna. “I have said from the start that apart from unity, the opposition parties should also have a common agenda,” he said.
Taking a dig at the Congress and the RJD, the JD(U) leader said the opposition should not object to all government moves just for the sake of opposition unity. “We should not oppose everything the NDA government does just to keep opposition unity. People are looking for alternative agenda. The GST is an example. I openly welcomed it as this tax reform will be very beneficial for the state,” Nitish said.
Kumar also said that he was not in the race to be the leader of the Opposition in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“I have said earlier also that I am not the PM face of opposition in 2019, neither am I eligible,” he said, speaking to the media.
On being asked about him skipping the midnight GST launch event, Kumar said there was no question of attending or not attending it as he was not invited.
On Opposition unity, the JD(U) leader said: “Coalition is not the only thing, we need to set alternative agenda and set it before the people.”
In a swipe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, the Chief Minister said that at a public event in February he had stated, in the presence of Mr Gandhi, that the Congress is “a large party and has the responsibility for leading the opposition’s narrative.”
Nitish Kumar’s approach to the election for President has led to verbal sniping with his two allies in Bihar – the Congress and Lalu Yadav. Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress enraged the Chief Minister last week by suggesting that Nitish Kumar benefits from “different principles that lead to different decisions.”