Nitish Kumar hits back at RJD, Congress, says can't remain with those committing sins in garb of secularism

Patna: Accused of betrayal, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday hit back at the RJD and Congress saying he cannot be with people who were using secularism to hide their "sins" and wealth earned through corrupt means.

"The mandate is to serve the people and not to profit (Mandate janta ki seva ke liye tha, na ki rajbhog, mewa ke liye). The people's court is the biggest court and it is my duty to serve them but I can't serve one family," Kumar said in his 10-minute speech in Bihar Assembly in support of the confidence motion moved by him for his new government with the NDA.

He won the trust vote comfortably with 131 votes against the opposition's 108.

 Nitish Kumar hits back at RJD, Congress, says cant remain with those committing sins in garb of secularism

Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony. PTI

"People should not teach me lessons on secularism. Secularism is something that can be practised. I cannot be with such people who indulge in committing sins besides amassing property through corrupt means in the garb of secularism," Kumar said in a dig at RJD president Lalu Prasad.

The JD(U) leader launched the scathing counter after Lalu's son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, while initiating the debate as the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, came down heavily on Nitish Kumar, frequently using the word "dhokha" (betrayal) for him for walking out of the grand alliance.

An unfazed Nitish Kumar said, he followed 'gatbandhan dharma (coalition ethics) and tried to run the government to fulfil the commitment of serving the people.

"I asked him (Tejashwi) to explain the accusations of graft against him but he was not in a position to furnish reply", he said narrating the events that preceded his quitting the grand alliance comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress from which he walked away on 26 July.

He said that it had become difficult for him to run the government and decided to part ways with the RJD.

"I took the decision in the best interest of Bihar and its development.... Now there is the rule of the NDA both at the Centre and in Bihar and the state will touch new heights of development," the CM said.

Apparently referring to the RJD and its leaders, Kumar said these people "live in arrogance and delusion" and asserted he would continue to show mirror to them both inside the House and outside.

On the Congress, whose leader Rahul Gandhi attacked him for ending the grand alliance, Kumar, without taking any names, said during 2015 poll Lalu Prasad was not ready to give them more than 15-20 seats in the alliance and it was he who helped them to contest 40 seats out of which they won 27.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi in his speech hailed Nitish Kumar for taking a call "on corruption of Lalu Prasad and his family".

"The mandate to the Grand Alliance in 2015 was against corruption and for good governance and not for accumulating benami property through illegal means," he said.

"Good governance was not possible in the earlier government with people like Mohammad Shahabuddin and Raj Ballabh Yadav of RJD around," he said.

The BJP's Nand Kishore Yadav, Sadanand Singh (Congress) and Mahboob Alam (CPM) also spoke during the trust vote debate.

Updated Date: Jul 28, 2017 20:11:52 IST