Nitish doesn't have retirement on his mind, asserts his party
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's stunner that the ongoing assembly elections were his last, triggered hectic speculation in the political circles here Friday. The ruling Janata Dal (United) categorically dismissed suggestions that Kumar, who also heads the party, had retirement from politics on his mind while stating that the ongoing assembly elections were his "last".
Vashishtha Narayan Singh, a veteran socialist leader who has been associated with Nitish Kumar for more than 30 years and currently heads the partys state unit, disapproved of interpretations "without listening to the full statement".
"Ye mera aakhiri chunaav hai.......Ant bhala to sab bhala" (This is my last election...all is well that ends well), Kumar had said at Dhamdaha in Purnea district on Thursday while winding up his speech, leading to a flurry of reactions from the opposition parties which insisted Kumar's words were admittance of an "impending defeat". "Does a political or social worker ever retire? Is Nitish Kumar himself contesting the assembly elections", asked Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, pointing to the fact that the Chief Minister is himself a member of the legislative council.
"We cant help it if the opposition finds pleasure in drawing inferences without listening to the full statement or understanding the context. But the fact remains he was addressing his final election rally, minutes before campaign for the third and last phase of elections came to a close. He was referring to that", Singh asserted.
State minister Sanjay Kumar Jha too echoed similar views. "Every time since 2005, in his last public meeting during campaign Kumar has been saying like this so its wrong to interpret that this is his last election," Jha, a close confidante of the chief minister, said. "Kumar will continue to serve the state and its people till public wants," he said and ridiculed the rivals for reading too much in it.
RJD Chief Ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav, who has emerged as the principal challenger to Kumar, nearly four decades his senior, at the young age of 31, reacted with glee "we stand vindicated. We had been saying all along that Nitish Kumar is tired and no longer able to govern Bihar. He would do well to retire".
Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan grabbed the chief minister's remarks to enchantment to folks to not waste their votes on any candidate of the ruling Janata