'Don't talk of growth, create peaceful atmosphere first'
In an apparent dig at the Modi government, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said there will be no development in the country unless there is an atmosphere of peace and tolerance.
Addressing a function to honour freedom fighters on the occasion of centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's 'Champaran satyagraha', he said an atmosphere of peace, love, harmony and tolerance can only take the country to the path of progress. "Only by talking of growth and success, there won't be any growth. For this there is a need to create right atmosphere," he said.
The statement is seen as a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often talks about the country's development.
Highlighting achievements of prohibition implemented by his government in Bihar, Kumar said an intensive campaign will soon start against social evils like child marriage and dowry system. Monday's programme was attended by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
The Bihar Chief Minister said Home Minister Rajnath Singh could not attend the programme despite being agreed to attend the function.
"We had invited the Home Minister. He agreed to come to the event also. The intention behind inviting the Home Minister was that he is one of the senior-most ministers of the government of India and considered as the senior-most minister after Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)... But at the last moment, for whatever reasons he did not come," Kumar said.
He said all people across political lines were invited to the function. "I do not have any complaint who have come and those who have not. It is not a programme organised with political feelings," he said.