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“We Don’t Need him, He’s Too Weak to Handle Pressure,” Rahul Gandhi on Nitish Kumar Switching Sides

“We Don’t Need him, He’s Too Weak to Handle Pressure,” Rahul Gandhi on Nitish Kumar Switching Sides

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Jan 30: Angrily reacting to the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar switching sides for the fifth time in the last five years moving out from the opposition India bloc to the BJP-led NDA, the former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit back at him saying that Mr Kumar was too weak to handle any pressure.

Addressing a rally at Purnea in Bihar where his “Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra” reached on Tuesday, Mr Gandhi asserted that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ comprising of Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Left parties, had “taken responsibility for delivering social justice in Bihar, and we don’t need Nitish Kumar.”

“We don’t require Nitish Kumar, a little pressure is exerted and he makes a U-turn,” Mr Gandhi said. He also discussed the importance of the caste survey conducted by the Mahagathbandhan government under Mr Kumar, and unemployment in the country. Rahul said the country needed a caste-based census to determine exact population of Dalits, OBCs, and others.  

“No one knows about samajik nyay (social justice) better than Bihar. This country should know how many OBCs, SCs and STs are there. The caste census is necessary. After the caste census, everybody will get to know what is their population and what is their right,” he said. It was Mr Gandhi’s first reaction after the JD(U) president Nitish Kumar’s switched to the NDA on Sunday and formed yet another ministry supported by the BJP.

The top RJD leaders including former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, skipped Mr Gandhi’s Yatra rally in Purnea in view of the Enforcement Directorate questioning him and his father and chief minister Lalu Yadav in the alleged land-for-job scam.

Rahul Gandhi interacted with the farmer community in Purnea. Speaking about Gandhi’s interaction, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the farmers shared their stories with him and highlighted that they had been squeezed between rising input costs, unfair land acquisition practices, and inadequate compensation for their harvest.

In Purnea today during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Rahul Gandhi had an extended interaction with local farmers. The farmers shared their stories with him, highlighting that they had been squeezed between rising input costs, unfair land acquisition practices, and inadequate compensation for their harvest,’ Jairam Ramesh shared on his X account.

‘Rahul empathised with the struggle that farmers have to face the Modi Government’s anyay-kaal, juxtaposing the UPA Government’s progressive Land Acquisition Law to the Modi Government’s attempts to revoke it within months of coming to power. He assured them that as soon as the Congress Government is formed, it would enforce robust and fair laws for farmers across the nation, delivering on the promise of Kisan NYAY,’ he wrote further.

He also spoke to a few Bihar residents over tea at a dhaba, during the Yatra on Tuesday along with the firebrand student leader Kanhaiya Kumar. A picture was released on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’s official X account.

While interacting with farmers, Mr Gandhi assured them that if the party was voted to power they would put forward farmer-friendly policies, and also spoke about the UPA government’s role in bringing the Land Acquisition Bill 2013.

“I am not speaking empty words here. We had waived off the Rs 72,000 Crores loan of farmers. We had brought the Land Acquisition Bill. When we had our governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, we gave the right price (of produce) to farmers. So, we have worked and we will work in the time to come…” he said.

Attacking the JD(U) and Mr Kumar, Jairam Ramesh and Bihar Congress president Akhilesh Singh said at a press conference, “There will be no effect on the INDIA alliance even after the exit of Nitish. My question is, Nitish-ji has been asking questions about the caste census. What will happen to that? Will the BJP react on that basis or not?”

The Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in a veiled attack on Mr Kumar had stated that the latter walked out of the INDIA bloc in the wake of the Central probe agencies serving notice to opposition leaders. Continuing his attack, Mr Kharge said, “If such cowardly people remain (in politics), how will the constitution and democracy survive?

“They are giving (ED) notice to each and everyone, to scare them, to threaten them; if they do not leave their friendship, then we will see, out of fear, that someone is leaving their friendship, someone is leaving their party, someone is leaving their alliance. If such cowardly people remain, then will this country survive, will this constitution survive, and will this democracy survive? Mr Kharge had asked.

Reacting to Mr Kharge’s charge that the JD(U) move to return to the NDA fold was a “pre-planned conspiracy,” the Union Minister Giriraj Singh questioned the opposition leaders’ wisdom in hobnobbing with Mr Kumar and formation of the INDIA bloc with him. Mr Singh referred to the INDIA bloc meetings in Patna, Bengaluru and Mumbai, and asked if Mr Kharge was ‘stupid’ enough to have done a ‘photo session’ with him during the meetings.

“If it was all pre-planned, was Kharge stupid to have done a photo session with him? If he knew everything, he shouldn’t have allowed Nitish Kumar to enter the INDIA bloc,” Mr Singh said. “Now, what happened to Kejriwal and Mamata? Didn’t Kharge recognise them earlier?” he added.

 

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