Kumar is officially elected JD-U President, says he wants to unite forces to fight the BJP
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said he was trying to play a “catalyst” to unite anti-BJP forces to defeat the saffron party and was not a claimant to any post but added that “if a person is destined to become the Prime Minister, he would become the PM one day”. “I am not a claimant to any post. All I am saying is that we all should unite (against BJP). Is it a crime to appeal for people to unite?” Kumar said while addressing JD(U)’s national council meeting which formally approved his election as the new national president of the party. He said that “time will decide the issue of leadership” and if a person is destined to become PM, he will become one “whether you name him or not”.
Bihar Chief Minister and newly-elected JD-U President Nitish Kumar with party leader Sharad Yadav share a meal after the National Council Meeting in Patna on Saturday. Pic/PTI
“First of all, we should unite (against BJP). Everybody needs to make sacrifice. A grand secular alliance would not have taken shape if Lalu Prasad and I had not sacrificed for a particular cause,” he said. Just days earlier, Kumar had called on parties to unite for a “Sangh-free” country and to repeat the Bihar experiment at the national level to oust the BJP in the 2019 General Elections, triggering speculation that he could lead such a front.
Kumar’s name was proposed by outgoing party president Sharad Yadav as his successor and around 1,000 party delegates from across the country ratified his election. The national council was convened to ratify Kumar’s nomination as president by the party’s national executive committee on April 10 in New Delhi. Kumar replaced party veteran Sharad Yadav, who held the post for a decade. Coming down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre for its “failure” in fulfilling its promises and “dividing society on religious lines”, Kumar said that if there is unity among anti-BJP forces at the Centre, BJP will not be successful in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.