Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, the man allegedly responsible for pushing Nitish Kumar towards the BJP, today took a jab at the Bihar Chief Minister over his defection from the Opposition camp.
“We don’t require Nitish Kumar, a little bit of pressure and he makes a U-turn,” Mr Gandhi — who is leading the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra — said at a public meeting in Bihar’s Purnea district today.
Mr Kumar joined hands with the BJP over the weekend, apparently furious over a comment of Rahul Gandhi at a meeting of the Opposition on January 13.
On the subject of choosing a coordinator for the INDIA bloc — a post Mr Kumar had his eyes on — Mr Gandhi said he would consult Mamata Banerjee, sources had said.
Furious with the Congress leader, Mr Kumar quit the meet 10 minutes early. Though the leaders chose him as the convenor shortly after, Mr Kumar rejected it, having made up his mind to change camp, sources said.
But this being Mr Kumars fifth change of camp in a decade, the Opposition took his reasons with a pinch of salt. Mr Gandhi poked fun at the Chief Minister, narrating a joke about Mr Kumar returning to the Raj Bhavan to collect his shawl shortly after the oath ceremony.
“The Governor was very surprised. ‘What Nitish-ji you are back so soon?’ he asked,” Mr Gandhi said amid roars of laughter. “Nitish ji is like that. A bit of pressure and he caves in,” he added.
Explaining why Mr Kumar should be under pressure, he mentioned social justice — one of the five justices sought by the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.
“The ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) will fight for social justice in Bihar; we don’t require Nitish Kumar for that purpose We don’t require him at all,” the Congress leader said.