Nitish Kumar & PM Modi (File Photo)
A strange incident during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally in Bihar’s Darbhanga district on April 25 has caught the attention of political pundits, social media users and others. It is to be noted that alliance partners of BJP, Lok Janshakti Party’s chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were also present at PM Modi’s election rally.
At the rally, chanting “Vande Mataram”, PM Modi ended his high voltage speech. Another alliance partner on the stage, Ram Vilas Paswan, joined in the "Vande Mataram" chorus, but sitting next to him, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar stayed silent. As crowd and Ram Vilas Paswan rose to their feet to join PM Modi in the chanting, Nitish Kumar was the last to stand up.
Take a look at the video:
The enthusiasm of Nitish Kumar is noteworthy pic.twitter.com/3rMs8O5dda— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) April 30, 2019
The video has gone viral on social media and experts feel of dissension within the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) - of which Nitish Kumar-led JDU is a part.
In the meantime, taking to a Twitter, AIMIM chief and lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi questioned whether BJP supporters and Sanghis would call Nitish Kumar "anti-national".
Earlier, in Darbhanga rally, PM Modi had said, "Chanting Vande Mataram is like a life force. Doing this is also a responsibility to ensure the peace, prosperity and security of the country. But some people have a problem with this. They should have their deposits forfeited."
Importantly, PM Modi’s remarks came two days after the opposition candidate in Darbhanga, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, said that while he had no objections to chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", reciting Vande Mataram was against his beliefs.
Lambasting Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Union Minister Giriraj Singh had said, "Those who don't say Vande Mataram can't worship the motherland. My father and grandfather died by the banks of the Ganga and did not need a grave. You on the other hand, need three-arm's-length of land. If you don't say Vande Mataram, the country will never forgive you."
The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 are being held in seven phases, starting from April 11. The first, second, third phase and fourth phase has been concluded. The fifth, sixth and seventh phase of polls will undergo on May 6, May 12 and May 19 respectively. The results will be declared on May 23.
In the year 2013, Nitish Kumar left the NDA when the BJP declared Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. JD(U) contested alone and ended up winning just two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats. Later, Nitish joined Mahagathbandhan and sorted all his differences with Lalu Prasad Yadav. In 2015, Nitish Kumar became Chief Minister of Bihar with support of Lalu Yadav’s RJD. However, Nitish broke away, only to go back to where he was before.