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Tainted ministers: BJP asks PM to follow Nitish

Source: PTI
November 26, 2005 21:25 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to emulate Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in removing tainted ministers from the Union Cabinet.

"Prime Minister should take inspiration from Nitish Kumar and sack tainted ministers from his cabinet," party General
Secretary Arun Jaitely told a BJP think tank meeting in New Delhi.

'Bihar is a lesson to the tainted'

Taking a dig, he remarked, "There are many in the United Progressive Alliance itself who would support me on this as there would be a number of vacancies if the prime minister decides to drop the tainted ministers."

Within hours of his taking oath, Nitish had dropped Jitan Ram Manjhi from his Council of Ministers after finding that he was facing charges in a Bachelor of Education degree scam in Bihar.

Rashtriya Janata Dal MP and former Union Minister Jaiprakash Narain Yadav is also facing charges in the same scam. Yadav had to quit from the Centre for his alleged involvement in the illegal release of his brother Vijay Prakash, who was contesting the assembly polls from Jamui.

He said the Bihar elections had dispelled many myths including that BJP was a party of upper caste and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party was a trouble for RJD.

"Majority of our legislators from Bihar are Dalits. We have proved that we are not a party of single vote base and we understand that our vote base has expanded in the recent polls," Jaitely, incharge of party affairs in Bihar, said.

Complete Coverage: The Bihar Elections

Finding fault with the perception that Paswan was causing trouble for Lalu Prasad's RJD and not the BJP, he said that the close analysis of election result proved otherwise.
"In February polls, we lost atleast 18 seats because of Paswan. Where ever Paswan got more votes, we lost. If you closely analyse the February results, where ever Paswan was marginal, we won," Jaitely said.     

The BJP spokesman said this time people neutralised Paswan because he did not go with the aspiration of ousting the RJD  regime last time.

Sai Sivaswamy: The message from Bihar

"Last time, Paswan wanted to save his seat in the ministry and vote base at the same time. So he was indecisive and people replied to it this time," he said adding that NDA's success was due to its ability to garner anti-RJD votes which otherwise went to Paswan's basket.

Noting that the November polls was a paradigm shift in Hindi-belt politics, Jaitely said for the first time aspirational and developmental politics determined the fate of the state.

"February vote in Bihar was a negative vote. This time it demolished the deep rooted perception that social polarisation
would fetch you votes," he said.

Nitish Kumar, do thank Sonia

He said the early announcement of Nitish as the chief ministerial candidate was beneficial for the alliance. Last time, the NDA was reluctant to name any leader and only in the last minute they announced that Nitish will lead the coalition.

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