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Nitish Kumar for pan-India alliance to combat ‘politics of negativity’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-04-2017 PTI

Mumbai: Without naming the BJP, Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar on Saturday called for a “pan-India unity” of opposition parties to counter the “politics of negativity”.

Addressing the gathering at a programme in Mumbai to launch his party in Maharashtra, Kumar said, “A pan-India unity of opposition parties can defeat the politics of negativity. Bihar is the perfect example to show that you can achieve success if differences are sunk and unity is forged. Ours is a social agenda in which social harmony, inclusiveness are important.”

“The beauty of our country is its diversity. Electoral success achieved through negativity is temporary,” he added. In a veiled reference to the BJP and RSS, Kumar alleged that those who had no love for the tiranga (tricolour) were now talking about (the honour of) the national flag. “Nobody has the right to challenge the nationalism and patriotism of others,” he added.

Kumar named Kapil Patil as the JD(U) Maharashtra president. Patil, a member of the state legislative council, merged his Lok Bharti party with Kumar’s party on the occasion. Maharashtra was a leading state in the socialist movement once and he wanted the JD(U) to revive the movement in the state, Kumar said. “What is said in Maharashtra has an impact all over the country,” he said, adding that he wanted the socialist agenda to reach every nook and corner of the state.

“I am not bothered about the number of seats we win,” the Bihar chief minister said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign that if the BJP came to power, it would ensure that farmers’ profits were equivalent to at least 50% of their production costs, Kumar said. “Had that promise been implemented, the agrarian crisis could have been controlled,” he added.

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