Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday dismissed any speculation that he will stand for prime minister in the next Parliamentary elections in 2019. The Janata Dal (United) president said that he was the leader of a “small party” and that he had “no national ambitions”.
“Three years ago, who was aware that Modi would be the prime minister of India. But it happened because he was capable of that, and the people of our country voted him to power. I know, I do not have that capacity,” he was reported as saying. He added that Sharad Yadav was JD(U) president for three terms and that when that responsibility had been passed to him, the media “tried to link” him to national politics. “As a party president I will try to expand JD(U) in other states, but it does not mean that I will dream of the prime minister’s post,” he said.
Kumar returned as chief minister of Bihar in November 2015, with the help of an alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Kanata Dal, and the Congress. However, on Monday, Kumar appeared to distance himself from Yadav when he did not defend the RJD leader, who has recently been mired in allegations of corruption. Kumar said it was for Yadav to reply to the allegations.
Kumar further moved towards the Bharatiya Janata Party by saying that the ruling party needed to try and form a consensus regarding the next president. The president’s term ends in June. Kumar said that if the central government failed to pick a candidate, only then should the Opposition choose one themselves. Incidentally, Kumar had made efforts towards putting up a common presidential candidate with other Opposition parties.
He also sided with the BJP on the recent controversy surrounding Electronic Voting Machines. While several parties had claimed the BJP rigged recent elections by tampering with EVMs, Kumar said, “We have seen how elections were conducted earlier. I do not wish that time to come again.”