Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced the list of of 242 candidates for the Grand Alliance for Assembly polls, with a major chunk from SC/ST and backward communities.
Kumar also launched a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging it was “anti-reservation” and cannot but toe the line of RSS which is “like its Supreme Court”.
Releasing the joint list of JD-U, RJD and Congress candidates of the grand alliance, he said it represents all sections of society with 16% from general category, 55% backwards, 15% SCs/STs and 14% from the minority community.
Kumar claimed the coalition stood united as there were no differences unlike in the NDA and said the people of Bihar will give a befitting reply to the BJP as they were watching its “divisive” politics.
Hitting out at BJP and RSS, he accused them of being against reservations and said the RSS, which was the ideological mentor of BJP, was seeking to install an “extra-constitutional” body to review reservations.
“It is clear that he (Bhagwat) feels the current policy of reservation is not right and wants some other system,” he said, while reading out excerpts of the RSS chief’s interview to the organisation’s mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’.
“Any amendment in Constitution can be done in Parliament.
They want somebody other than the Constitution, an extra-constitutional authority, which should look into who should get reservation and how long.
“Not in the Constitution or in Parliament but in the hands of the elite committee. It is a very dangerous view. It cannot be accepted,” he said.
Questioning BJP’s stand on reservation, he said whatever the ruling party may say it cannot go against the views of the RSS.
“The BJP has a government at the Centre, which has repeatedly claimed that they are proud to be Swayamsevaks.
“RSS view is final. Whatever BJP might say, it has no meaning. Like anything is decided by the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, it is final and there is nothing after that. The same way in RSS, if RSS chief says something then BJP has no say.
“The BJP is a political outfit of RSS and Swayamsevaks and pracharaks are part of this government. Whatever Bhagwat has said is final and there is no other thought,” he said, charging the BJP with being against reservations.
The Bihar chief minister said development will be the main poll plank of the alliance and took a dig at the NDA coalition where differences among alliance partners were out in the open.
“It is an internal matter of BJP and we have nothing to say on this. People are watching BJP’s politics and will give a reply,” he said.
Wednesday is the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of polls to be held on October 12.
Nitish Kumar claimed that the list of 242 candidates was prepared after long deliberations with alliance partners, who had authorised him to release the names jointly.
He said candidate for one more seat will be announced in a day or two.
“Development is the biggest issue in this election. BJP talks of development, but does divisive politics, be it on lines of caste or community,” he said.
The five-phase Bihar assembly polls start on October 12 and end on November 5 and counting will take place on November 8.
Election will be held to 49 of the 243 assembly seats in the first phase.