Bengaluru: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) is contesting 25-30 seats in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, on Wednesday made strong grounds for his Bihar-based party that is trying to regain its foothold in this southern state that once saw a significant presence of JD(U).
While claiming that the state has always stood by JD(U) leaders in the past, Kumar cited his “Bihar model” of development to set the tone for his party’s campaign in the poll-bound state.
“When I became the CM, I had only one motto of ‘growth with justice’, which means development at every level and for everyone without any discrimination. All schemes in Bihar are meant for everyone,” said the Bihar chief minister who is trying to increase his party’s presence beyond Bihar.
Kumar refrained from commenting on the state of affairs in Karnataka and said, “I do not want to comment on the political situation in the state today but I will speak about what we can do for Karnataka” and went on to add how he is the only one who follows ‘Nudi Nante Nade’ (does what he preaches).
“What is being done in Bihar, if it is replicated in Karnataka, which is already a developed state, it will take the state to new heights,” said the Janata Dal (United) chief and went on to cite some of his government initiatives to prove his point.
“In Bihar, 12.5% children were uneducated so I took it up as a challenge and decided to make it our goal that all children should go to school. There were very few girls going to the upper primary school because she wasn’t comfortable in the clothes. We started giving them two uniforms, a pair of shoes and a bag and soon the number of girls students went up considerably.”
Playing up his image of a peace-loving anti-corruption crusader, Kumar said, “Today the situation in the country is that of fear. But we should learn to live in peace and harmony. The violence needs to stop not just in India but all over the world. Today the kind of politicians we have is a disgrace. They think if they have power, they can rule. But they should work like a trustee instead of helping the people they engage in making money.”
He further heaped praises on JD(U) Karnataka state president, Mahima Patel son of former chief minister JH Patel. Mahima has been trying to build the party in Karnataka by reaching out to old stalwarts.
“JD(U)’s foundation was laid here in Bengaluru. Many socialist leaders have come from Karnataka while I was greatly influenced by Lohiya ji. JH Patel was one of those leader and I have great respect for them. Patel was the first person to speak in Kannada in the Parliament and will always be remembered for that,” Kumar said.
JD(U) will be contesting in about 30 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly for the May 12 elections, however, there would be no tie-up with its NDA ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).