Hours after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that this would be his ‘last election’, his party has dismissed the news and clarified that Kumar meant that it was his last election meeting during this Bihar election. Opposition leaders said Kumar had pulled his retirement card as a desperate stunt for votes.
“It is wrong to link his statement to the third phase of polls. He could have said this in the earlier rounds also. He is, and will stay in politics,” says deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha Harvinash Narayan Singh.
RJD’s Chief Ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav was quick to respond to the statement. “We have been saying this for long that Nitish Kumar Ji is tired and he is not able to manage Bihar. Now on the last day of the election campaign, he has announced that he is taking retirement from politics, maybe he has understood the ground realities,” says Yadav.
Congress leader P Chidambaram also claimed that Kumar has conceded defeat in the Bihar assembly polls. “Why should the people of Bihar vote for a person who, if elected, will be a lame duck from day one? When Mr. Nitish Kumar declares that this will be his ‘last election’ he has effectively conceded defeat,” said the former finance minister.
Nitish Kumar has been facing heat from every nook and corner. LJP chief Chirag Paswan reiterated that if voted to power, his government will launch a probe into all corruption cases during Nitish’s tenure and that he won’t hesitate in sending the CM to jail if found guilty.
“If a leader runs away from the battlefield what will his people do? If he thinks that with this he will be able to escape a corruption investigation, then I won’t let it happen. If he’s found guilty, he will have to go to jail,” Paswan said.
Not only Big parties, but small parties like Plurals are also leaving no stone unturned to slam Nitish Kumar. Party founder Pushpam Priya took a dig at Kumar and said that he never fought elections in the last 15 years in Bihar.
Although Nitish Kumar contested the Lok Sabha elections and won six times, 1985 was the last Assembly election he contested. He is a member of the Legislative Council, the upper house in the state legislature.
When elections were held in 2015, Nitish said that he will not contest because he didn’t want to limit his focus on one seat.
Nitish’s second term as an MLC expired in 2018 and he was once again elected to the Legislative Council. His third term as an MLC will expire in 2024.