With Nitish Kumar set to take oath as Chief Minister of Bihar a day after parting ways with the NDA, former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a dig at the leader, highlighting his history of U-Turns and his ambitions to become the Prime Minister.
In an exclusive interaction with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami, former IT and Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked whether it was wrong to have Prime Ministerial ambitions.
The leader replied, "Nothing wrong in having PM ambitions. In a democracy, everyone has, so no problem. But there is one caveat: there is no vacancy for the post of Prime Minister. Narendra Modi is a popular PM, doing great for the country. He will be elected again in 2024 and also in 2029. There is no embargo on daydreaming."
Ravi Shankar Prasad on Nitish Kumar, “He left BJP in 2013 because he wanted nothing to do with Narendra Modi. JD(U) got just 2 Lok Sabha seats out of 40. He went to Lalu ji (Lalu Prasad Yadav) in 2015 Vidhan Sabha. In 2017, he said, 'I cannot work because stinking questions of corruption not being replied to in the Railway Bharti scam, Hotel scam, and Mall scam.' Tejashwi (Yadav) refused to reply, as the deputy CM and said, 'I will talk to my lawyer.' Nitish walked out for a good cause. He again came to us in 2019, in which we sacrificed many of our sitting MPs and he got 16 seats because of Modiji’s appeal in LS and BJP also got the same number.”
Continuing to narrate the account of BJP-JD(U) alliances and how BJP had outperformed JD(U) in the past, coupled with the mass appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prasad said even in 2020, JD(U) got 43 seats and BJP was nearly double the number, “From the ramparts of the BJP office, he said Nitish Kumar will be the CM again.”
Prasad sought answers from Nitish Kumar on whether the corruption allegations that were levelled against Tejashswi Yadav in 2017 have become irrelevant now.
MP from Patna Sahib, Prasad showed concern for the serious law and order situation in Bihar and stated, “I am worried about my state. It is again getting regressed into lawlessness, corruption and a state of uncertainty.”
When Arnab Goswami probed Prasad on whether the BJP provoked the JDU by opting to make RCP Singh the minister in the Union cabinet, Prasad said BJP doesn’t take any decisions without consulting the alliance partner, “Our leaders do not appoint ministers without asking the leaders of the concerned party.” However, he argued, if Nitish Kumar had an issue with RCP Singh becoming the minister, he could have asked him to resign a year back on July 7 saying, ‘RCP you resign, you have become the minister without my concurrence’
Discussing the issue of RCP Singh, Prasad cited it as an internal party issue but “The larger question is Mr Nitish Kumar do you have any element of consistency and propriety in your politics or not?” He asked.