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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Nitish Kumar slams those promoting their families in politics


Amid speculations over the possibility of his joining hands with the BJP again, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday slammed those promoting their family members, saying it is against principles and ideology of former Chief Minister and great socialist leader Karpoori Thakur.

Kumar, while addressing a function organised by his party, JD(U), to mark the birth centenary celebration of veteran socialist leader and former Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, said that he was dead against promoting his family members in any way. Despite having huge influence, Thakur never promoted his son in politics, he noted. After the death of Karpoori Thakur, he brought his eldest son, Ram Nath Thakur, into politics, and he was made a Rajya Sabha member by him, he stated.

“Promoting family members in politics is against the principles and ideology of Karpoori Thakur,” the Chief Minister said, adding that there were leaders in contemporary politics who were only interested in promoting their sons, an oblique reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad. He never promoted his son, he emphasised.

Kumar said that he had been demanding the Centre for a long time to honour Karpoori Thakur with the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, but no decision was taken. It was heartening to note that the present regime at the Centre had decided to honour Karpoori Thakur by felicitating him with the Bharat Ratna Award posthumously, he remarked.

The Chief Minister expressed his gratitude towards the Centre and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deciding to honour Karpoori Thakur with the highest civilian award in the country. It was a pleasure for him that the Prime Minister had made a phone call to Ram Nath Thakur, the eldest son of Karpoori Thakur, but he did not make a call to him, he quipped. Had PM Modi made a phone call to him, he would have given full credit to him for the felicitation of Karpoori Thakur, he stated.

Kumar said that Karpoori Thakur was the first Chief Minister to give reservations to backward and extremely backward Bihar in 1978, which was the first state in the country to do so. A caste census was recently conducted in Bihar, and based on its findings, he increased the reservation limit from 60 to 75 percent in the state, he added. While reservations for SCs, STs, Backward Classes, and Extremely Backward Classes had been increased from 50 to 65 percent and reservations for poor among upper castes had been maintained in government services at 10 percent as earlier, he pointed out and added that these decisions were in confluence with the principles and ideology of Karpoori Thakur.

The Chief Minister said that he had always held great leaders—Mahatma Gandhi, Bheem Rao Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jaiprakash Narayan, and Karpoori Thakur—in high esteem. His government had been working as per the principles and visions of these great leaders, he stressed.

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