Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, repeatedly snubbed by the BJP, sends a loud and clear message to the central leadership of the party. The chief minister skipped several functions where the invitation came from the party leadership. Next on the “ignored” list is President-elect Draupadi Murmu’s swearing-in ceremony, scheduled for tomorrow. The chief minister will not attend the ceremony in Delhi, party sources said, as he will be linked to a meeting on the MNREGA Central Provident Scheme.
On July 17, he had missed a meeting of chief ministers called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and delegated a proxy. The meeting to discuss issues related to the national flag, was attended by BJP’s Tarkishor Prasad.
On Friday, he again skipped a dinner for incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This time he cited the swearing-in ceremony for seven newly elected members of the Legislative Council – which ended at 4 p.m.
The provocation appears to be the BJP’s failure to invite him to the Prime Minister’s address during the centenary celebrations of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. Prime Minister Modi was persuaded to attend the ceremony by President Vijay Kumar Sinha, who since taking office as president has crossed swords with the chief minister on several occasions, causing an explosion anger on his part. It was the first time that a Prime Minister addressed the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
During the closing ceremony, Mr Sinha did not even mention the state’s five-time chief minister. His photo was missing from the souvenir published on the occasion.
The BJP has yet to respond to its demands – including the president’s impeachment and a demand to stop public criticism of the government by BJP leaders.
The confrontation between the state BJP and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United began shortly after Amit Shah decided to keep him as chief minister despite the BJP’s better performance in the assembly elections. . Now, bickering between the two sides – usually preceded by provocation by the BJP – has become almost commonplace.
The latest occasion came last month when BJP Head of State Sanjay Jaiswal made derogatory comments to the JD(U) about the Agnipath scheme. The BJP has made it clear that it is not happy with the way Nitish Kumar’s government has handled the protests against the short-lived recruitment program in the armed forces.
The JD(U) made it clear that it blamed the BJP “Before there was a limit, there was control. Now there is a loophole. It is not a good tradition,” said the cabinet minister Vijender Yadav.