Nitish upset with RJD minister, admits to having met PK


PTI | Patna | Updated: 14-09-2022 20:30 IST | Created: 14-09-2022 20:30 IST
Nitish upset with RJD minister, admits to having met PK
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday frowned upon the recalcitrance shown by his Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh, who belongs to the RJD, but sought to put the ball in the court of his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, the party's de facto leader.

Talking to reporters here, Kumar, who is the de facto JD(U) chief, confirmed having met poll strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor the previous day but insisted that the meeting was ''normal and not of any political significance''.

''I had tried to enquire from him (Sudhakar) about his grievances. Instead of replying, he stormed out,'' said Kumar when asked about reports of the agriculture minister having created a scene at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Sudhakar Singh, whose father Jagadanand Singh is the state RJD president, had spoken about rampant corruption at a public meeting in Kaimur district a couple of days ago.

The minister, who is said to be upset with bureaucrats in his department, has reportedly threatened to resign upon being admonished by the chief minister for the embarrassing situation in which the government has landed.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has issued a statement claiming that Kumar was no longer his earlier assertive self and was unable to crack the whip out of ''fear'' of RJD.

When Kumar was asked about Singh's contention that he would stick to whatever he has said, the longest-serving chief minister of the state said ''Please ask deputy CM sahib (Tejashwi)''.

The JD(U) leader, who has been working on forging opposition unity since quitting the NDA last month, refused to share details of his meeting with Prashant Kishor.

''It was a normal meeting. There was not much to it. He was brought along by Pavan Varma who had met me a couple of days earlier too,'' Kumar said.

The chief minister said he shares an ''old relationship'' with Kishor and denied harbouring any bitterness towards the strategist whom he had berated in Delhi earlier this month. Kishor had been caustic in his response. Kumar parried questions by scribes on whether plans were afoot to bring back Kishor into his camp by saying ''Please ask him. I have nothing more to add on the issue''.

When Kishor was contacted, he said he was away in the remote West Champaran district as part of his ''Jan Suraaj'' campaign.

He had worked in a professional capacity for Kumar in the 2015 assembly polls and upon the victory of the 'Mahagathbandhan', he was rewarded with the post of an adviser to the chief minister with the rank of a cabinet minister.

The IPAC founder subsequently got busy managing poll campaigns of other parties in other states until his induction into JD(U) in 2018 by Kumar, who was then the national president of the party. He was elevated to the post of its national vice-president in a few weeks, but was expelled along with Varma, then a national general secretary of JD(U), for striking notes of discord on the CAA-NPR-NRC controversy.

Kishor has admitted in media interviews that a few months ago when he met Kumar in Delhi he was given an ''offer'' to revamp JD(U), details of which he would not share.

Kishor's uncharitable assessment of the latest volte-face by Kumar had led the latter to remark that the former strategist, who had in 2014 managed the spectacularly successfully poll campaign of Narendra Modi, then the BJP prime ministerial candidate, might be batting for the saffron party.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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