Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday targeted opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for creating a bad image of the state for their own vested interests.
“At a time when all are praising Bihar for holding such a mega ‘Prakash Utsav’, some people have been making an issue of why Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was not given a place on the dais,” Nitish Kumar told the media in a reference to senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and union minister Giriraj Singh.
At the mega event here, marking the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, Lalu Prasad was not given a place on the dais from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar addressed the gathering.
Lalu himself said there are people who would always point out shortcomings and pick holes in any mega function.
“People always perform puja by sitting on the floor. Is puja performed by sitting on the chair. Why should I have any grievance? It was ‘Guru ka Darbar’. It was a spectacular arrangement for the 350th Prakash Parv celebration that brought good name to Bihar from across the world,” Lalu said.
Sushil Modi, who is also a former Deputy Chief Minister, and Giriraj Singh have been raising the issue of Lalu Prasad not being given a place on the dais beside the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister at the Prakash Utsav last week.
Nitish Kumar said the sitting arrangements were made according to the age-old Sikh tradition by the gurdwara management committee.
“The state government had not decided, who will sit on the dais with the PM. Unnecessarily some people have been trying to make it an issue and doing wrong propaganda,” he said.
“I am appealing to such people with my folded hands to change their behaviour,” he said.
Lalu — along with his sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Bihar Health Minister, respectively — was present at the ‘langar’ in the makeshift gurdwara in the ‘Tent City’ at the historical Gandhi Maidan where the main function was held.
“My father Lalu Prasad is a ‘zaminee leader’ and he prefers to sit on the floor (zameen). There is nothing much to it,” Tejashwi had said in reply to the BJP leaders raising the issue.
“At the Guru’s darbar, it is an age-old tradition to sit on the floor, and my father has no problem in sitting on the floor,” Tejashwi added.
The Chief Minister said the Grand Alliance government of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), RJD and the Congress has been working since all are together.
Nitish Kumar said he will meet and talk to the leaders and workers of the Grand Alliance on January 23 and the same day the core committee of the JD-U will hold its meeting to discuss demonetisation.
He also urged all political parties to join the proposed human chain on January 21 in support of prohibition imposed in Bihar.