JDU chief Nitish Kumar during the national executive meeting at party headquarters in New Delhi on Sunday. (Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)
Echoing his remarks during the party’s national executive on Sunday that JD(U) had nothing to do with crime, corruption and communalism, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, referring to Union minister Giriraj Singh’s meeting with jailed Bajrang Dal activists, said on Monday that his government won’t tolerate any attempts to disturb communal harmony in the state. Calling Singh’s meeting with the activists in Nawada “unacceptable”, Kumar said the open display of sympathy for those found guilty by the government was not proper.
“This was not acceptable. An open display of sympathy for those whom the administration has found guilty on some counts, is not proper. If someone appears to have been wrongly arrested, one should move the court against it,” the JD(U) chief said at a Lok Samvad programme, where he also denied speculations of a rift with alliance partner BJP and said the sticky issue of seat sharing would be thrashed out in due time.
Giriraj Singh, BJP MP from Nawada, on Sunday, met families of Bajrang Dal and VHP activists arrested last week on charges of inciting communal tension during Ram Navami and questioned the Bihar government if “suppressing Hindus is secularism”. The MP had met the arrested Bajrang Dal and VHP activists in Nawada jail on Saturday.
With deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi by his side, Kumar also said there were many attempts in today’s society to disturb social harmony, a tacit message that seemed to be meant for the BJP, with whom JD(U) has an alliance in the state. “There are many attempts in today’s society to disturb social harmony. People have given up decorum in speech. But our government has always been committed to maintaining communal harmony and no attempts to disturb the same will be encouraged or even tolerated,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the CM’s remarks against Singh, BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan told some regional news channels that socialists never rise above the politics of appeasement. “Kumar is our highly respectable leader. But it has been a problem with the socialists that they do not rise above the politics of appeasement,” he said.
The Bihar CM, however, said that the question of JD(U) aligning with BJP at the Centre did not arise and the party would field candidates in other state elections against the BJP. “I am sitting here alongside Sushil Kumar Modi. It is amply clear that the government is functioning well and there is no problem between the two parties,” Kumar said. He further added that the prospects of JD(U) joining an anti-BJP alliance before the 2019 elections were not on the cards.