Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday attended the 107th birth anniversary event of Bharatiya Jana Sangh ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Patna, sparking buzz over his return to the NDA folds. Kumar's recent actions have raised several questions and speculations about his future political moves, especially in the run-up to the elections. However, the Janata Dal (United) leader has put a full stop to the speculations about his return to NDA saying that he has been working to unite the opposition and it is going to be a big achievement.
It is noteworthy that the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya is celebrated as a state function in Bihar. In 2020, Kumar had unveiled a statue of Deendayal Upadhyaya at the Rajendra Nagar area of the city. The park at which the statue has been installed is the place where Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) conducts its 'shakhas' (assembly). This park is situated next to RSS Bihar headquarters 'Vijay Niketan'.
'It is a government function'
Speaking to media persons in Patna, Kumar on the question of going to Deendayal Jayanti, said, "We respect everyone, if it is a government function then everyone comes." Notably, he was accompanied by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
Earlier, Tejashwi had opposed the decision to hold a political event on Deendayal Jayanti. However, today, he himself attended the event. When Tejashwi was questioned about this change, he denied ever opposing the event, saying, "I never opposed it."
It is pertinent to mention that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was a co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) and a thinker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In response to Nitish Kumar's participation in the Deendayal Jayanti event, BJP's state president, Samrat Choudhary said, "It's a good thing that he is going to Deendayal Upadhyaya's event, inspired by his work, for the first time."
Nitish on return to NDA
When asked about the discussions of his joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Kumar responded by saying it's an unnecessary topic. He stated that they are working on unifying the opposition, which is a significant accomplishment. "I have been working to unite the opposition and it is going to be a big achievement. I have nothing to do with what others say," said Bihar CM in response to a media query related to speculations about his return to the NDA fold.
BJP on Nitish Kumar's return in NDA
BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi on the JD(U) leader's return, said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had made it clear that the doors of the BJP are closed for him. "Not once but twice Amit Shah made it clear that the doors of the BJP are closed for him. We will win elections in 2024 and also 2025. I have made it clear that he cannot enter BJP now," he said.
Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Vijay Kumar Sinha said that the people of Bihar are not ready to accept him and those with him are certain to drown. "Who is taking him (Nitish Kumar) back? The people of Bihar are not ready to accept him and those with him are certain to drown," he said.
About Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born September 25, 1916, in Nagla Chandraban village in Mathura district. From 1942, he dedicated himself to full-time work in the RSS. Upadhyaya, a man of soaring idealism, had a tremendous capacity for organisation. He published a monthly Rashtra Dharma, a weekly Panchjanya and a daily Swadesh in 1940.
In 1951, when Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Upadhyaya became the first general secretary of its Uttar Pradesh unit. Later, he was chosen as all-India general secretary of the organisation.