Nitish refuses to react to Modi's win

Patna: Even as congratulations poured in for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for winning three successive Assembly polls in the state, his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar is keeping a stoic silence, which has set the tongues wagging.

When mediapersons sought reaction from Kumar this morning on the historic victory of Modi, he kept mum and went ahead to attend an official function. The Bihar chief minister had not entertained similar question last evening too.

Nitish Kumar. PTI.

In reply to the query of the reporters on the Modi's victory, Kumar said "I'll call you fellows separately for this." The stoic silence maintained by Kumar, who is a senior leader of BJP's NDA ally JD(U), has triggered gossipping in the political circle.

BJP leaders in the state have disapproved Kumar's stance. When asked about the silence of Kumar on Modi's victory, state BJP President C P Thakur wondered as to why Kumar did not make a customary gesture which was common in public life.

"It is for Kumar to explain as to why he did not congratulate  Modi... congratulating somebody on victory is a normal practice in public life," Thakur, a former union minister, told reporters here.

Thakur has on many occasions favoured Modi to be made BJP's PM nominee for 2014 general elections. Nitish Kumar's aversion for Modi over 2002 communal riots in Gujarat is well known. Recently, in an interview to a national daily, Kumar had emphatically said that NDA's prime ministerial choice should have secular credential which was construed as his opposition to the candidature of Modi.

PTI