Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2017

No one has capacity to take on Modi in 2019: Nitish Kumar

Patna: Putting at rest the speculations about his national ambitions, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said no one can take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and hailed the way he takes decisions which he felt would take the country forward.

There is nobody who has the capacity to take on Modi

At a 75-minute press conference, he defended his decision to tie up with the BJP ditching the RJD and the Congress and said his party will remain committed to the support already extended to opposition Vice President candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

“I don’t think anyone is suitable for that. There is nobody who has the capacity to take on Modi,” Nitish Kumar said in reply to a question about the next general elections in which he has been speculated as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate.

With senior leader Sharad Yadav expressing unhappiness about the JD-U tying up with BJP, Nitish Kumar claimed the party was united. He dismissed as hypothetical questions about the JD-U joining the union cabinet.

He was critical of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that he knew three months ago that the JD-U would tie up with the BJP in Bihar and asked if that was so then why did he not stop it.

“If he knew it then he should have told me. When I decided to support (NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath) Kovind I told them. I spoke to Rahul over the corruption charges against RJD leaders and asked him to suggest ways to come out of that so that I can speak outside.”

He was reminded about his 2013 statement that the BJP had strayed from the ideals of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani.

He said he was already performing a national role in politics by being the Bihar Chief Minister and had done national duty during the VP Singh and Vajpayee governments.

“The decision I took (last week) was in the interest of Bihar against corruption. I hope the central government will go ahead with its action in eliminating benami properties like it took in the case of demonetisation and ending black money. Add to this is the GST reform that will transform trade and make it tough for black money to be generated out of business,” he said.

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