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Message at Nitish’s swearing-in confusing: BJP

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Kolkata: BJP today observed that the “message” sent out at Nitish Kumar’s oath-taking ceremony in Patna, about an anti-BJP front taking shape, was “confusing” as leaders of various parties who attended it were all ambitious, making it difficult for them to come together.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Kumar’s swearing-in witnessed a range of opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar and H D Deve Gowda, but all them were highly ambitious making it difficult for them to come together.

“People like Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal had gathered there. But the message they tried to send out from there was a confused one. They are highly ambitious… All have national ambitions. It seems to be too many swords in one sheath,” Patra, who was here to participate at the party’s Social Media Volunteers’ Meet, said.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Delhi, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, National Conference leaders and former Jammu and Kashmir CMs Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar, AIUDF leader from Assam Badaruddin Ajmal and former prime minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda were present at the ceremony.

Congress chief ministers like Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), Oommen Chandy (Kerala), Tarun Gogoi (Assam) and Siddaramiah (Karnataka), CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja, DMK’s M K Stalin and T R Baalu also attended the event.

Some allies of BJP, Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Badal (Punjab Deputy Chief Minister) and Ram Das Kadam and Subhash Desai of Shiv Sena were also present.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also present.

On whether a Third Front could emerge as an alternative force, Patra said, “Third Front has been a failed front and history has witnessed that time and again. This is not for the first time that they tried to build up a Third Front; but nothing happened.”

Talking about BJP’s debacle in Bihar elections, Patra said, “This is a democratic country where parties win and lose elections… I would have been very happy if we had won the elections in Bihar… We will congratulate the coalition government… We will also wish them best of luck.”

In the same breath, he, however, said, “The Grand Alliance has qualified because RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was disqualified.”

Addressing BJP workers, Patra stressed that “media” had become “the first pillar of democracy” and advised them to open Twitter accounts with a healthy number of followers.

“…One can easily feel the importance of social media these days… BJP has been very active in social media and we have done that in Bihar elections… We will continue doing that in other elections also,” Patra said.