Nitish Kumar has lost the respect he once commanded: Congress

| Updated: Aug 01, 2017 10:59 IST

New Delhi [India] Aug 1 (ANI): The Congress on Tuesday said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has lost the status he used to have as a Chief Minister in the grand alliance, adding he is trying to fit in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "Nitish Kumar always had a respectable persona. But now he does not have that same figure in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government as he used to have in the grand alliance as the Chief Minister. He is just trying to fit in the BJP," Congress leader P.L. Punia told ANI. He further said that no matter what statements Kumar make, he has lost the respect he used to command. Earlier on Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar declared that no one is capable to face and beat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He praised Prime Minister Modi, calling him the "biggest leader" in the country and added that "there is no one who can defeat him." Interestingly, Nitish Kumar had taken a morally high ground in June 2013 when he broke his 17-year long tie with the BJP over the naming of Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Since then, he had been claiming that he would never join hands with the BJP again, until July 26 when he resigned as the Bihar chief minister and ended the two-year alliance with the RJD and the Congress over corruption charges against his deputy and Lalu Prasad's son Tejashwi Yadav and formed the Government in Bihar the very next day with the BJP's support. Earlier in July 2015, Prime Minister Modi had also attacked Nitish over his frequent change of political allegiances, saying it seemed that there was "some problem with Nitish Kumar's DNA". Speaking in his first press conference after snapping ties with long time ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nitish today also explained that he had given Lalu Yadav ample opportunities to explain the charges of corruption against him, but to no avail. "If Lalu had explained himself over the corruption allegations, then situation could have been different in Bihar," Nitish said. Meanwhile, Lalu has invited the Janata Dal (United) co-founder Sharad Yadav to lead the fight against the BJP and Nitish, who, according to him, joined hands with "communal and fascist forces and betrayed the people's mandate". (ANI)