Upset With Union Ministers, Nitish Kumar Says "Communalism Unacceptable"

Nitish Kumar also broke his silence on special status for the state, saying Bihar has not shed this demand

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he was for "complete communal and social peace".

Patna: 

Highlights

  1. Did not compromise on corruption, won't do on communlism either: Kumar
  2. Comment follows Union Minister's remarks on BJP supporter's beheading
  3. Backs call to BJP to "correct" course, renews Bihar special status demand
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday made it clear that he is upset with two Union Ministers, supported a third who advised course correction to the BJP and renewed his demand for special status for Bihar, claiming he has never given up on the issue.

In comments seen as an indirect rebuke to the BJP -- whom he partnered to form the government last year after dumping Lalu Yadav and the Congress -- he said: "Please remember, neither did I compromise with corruption, nor I will compromise with those trying to divide the society. I'm for complete communal and social peace... I want to make it clear that this country will march ahead on the basis of love, compassion and communal harmony".

He then went on to support Union Minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, who on Sunday advised ally BJP on the "need to change mass perception among Dalits and minorities". "I know Paswan very well and without applying his mind he won't speak on these issues," Mr Kumar said.

BJP leaders in the state declined to comment over the remarks.

The Chief Minister's remarks came in the backdrop of day-long opposition protests in the state assembly against Union Minister Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Choubey.

Last week, after victory of Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal won the by-elections for Araria parliamentary seat in face of an aggressive BJP campaign, Mr Singh had said the district will become a "hub of terror". It had created a huge controversy, with the opposition RJD calling the remark communal.

On Sunday, Mr Singh was caught on camera inciting a mob to shout slogans against a senior police officer in Darbhanga, where a man was hacked to death. While the police said it was a case of land dispute, Mr Singh insisted that the man was killed for naming a chowk after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav had tweeted a video of the incident, accompanied by a stinging remark.Junior minister for health and family welfare Ashwini Choubey was caught in controversy over the weekend after a procession of right-wing workers led by his son Arijit Sashwat allegedly raised provocative slogans in Bhagalpur, which led to a clash. A police case was filed against Abhijit Sashwat.

Before this, Mr Kumar also broke his silence on special status, saying Bihar has not shed this demand. "In fact, the Telugu Desam Party is raising it now, but we have been demanding it for quite some time," he said.

Regarding the defeat in the by-elections in Jehanabad, Mr Kumar said he was not open to contest but fielded a party candidate from on the BJP's insistence.

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