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Nitish backs JD(U) move not to contest state by-polls in March

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Bihar and JD(U) chief Kumar today defended his party's decision not to contest any of the three seats in the state where by-polls are scheduled to be held next month.

Kumar, the national of the (United), said the had taken a "policy decision" not to field candidates for the Araria and Bhabhua and Jahanabad Assembly seats.

The three seats were vacated after the deaths of a and two MLAs who did not belong to the JD(U), he said.

"We do not see anything wrong in our decision not to contest these by-polls," he told reporters here on the sidelines of a public interaction programme "Lok Samvad".

The was responding to allegations by RJD leader who has termed the JD(U) decision not to contest the by-elections an indication of Kumar's "capitulation" before the BJP.

While Araria and Jahanabad were held by the RJD, Bhabhua was with the BJP.

The ruling NDA in the state is yet to come out with names of candidates for the three seats.

Asked if he would take part in the campaign for the March 11 by-polls, Kumar said no decision had been taken on this yet.

Replying to a query on Narendra Modi's recent speech in Parliament where he had blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for India's Partition, Kumar said, "In a democracy everyone has the right to hold a view".

"The freedom struggle was marked by contributions from people of all hues. On the one hand there were people like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad and also Subhas Chandra Bose," he said.

On the other hand, he added, there was Gandhi, with many of his followers, including Nehru and

"It is, however, also a fact that the joy of freedom was marred by the tragedy of the Partition. And Gandhi as well as people like had on August 15, 1947, stayed away from the celebrations, devoting their energies to bringing communal passions under control," Kumar said.

The also dismissed the controversy over Modi's remark that a person earning Rs 200 a day selling 'pakodas' should be considered employed.

"These are frivolities that gain currency when elections are close," he said.

Replying to a query about Rahul Gandhi's criticism of Mohan Bhagwat's statements on the RSS's ability to get "battle ready", Kumar said, "I am not fully aware of what the issue is".

"But I do not think there is anything wrong in any organisation talking about its willingness to contribute towards national security," Kumar added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 17:25 IST