Janata Dal (United) leader Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar “PM Material" and also supported his demand for a caste census.
“People made Narendra Modi PM today and he’s doing good work. But there are others in the country who have the potential to become PM. Of them is Nitish Kumar. He should be called PM-material and it’s not about challenging PM Modi," said Kushwaha. He added, “There is a need to create an atmosphere in the country on the issue of caste Census and Nitish Kumar can play a big role in it."
Reacting to this, Kumar, who was in Delhi to attend the party’s national executive meeting and returned to Patna on Sunday, said, “There’s nothing like this. Why should I be (a PM Material)? I am not interested in all these things."
Kumar, the JDU chief, has been echoing the demand for a caste-based census for some time now. “The caste census should be done at least once. It will be easy for the government to identify the poor other than the Dalits and help formulate schemes for their welfare," he had said last week.
Kumar will seek an appointment with PM Modi to discuss the census issue.
“There will be no impact (on the coalition). The bicameral legislature in Bihar has passed resolutions twice in support of a caste-based Census. All parties had voted in favour on both occasions," Kumar told reporters here upon return from New Delhi.
On Sunday, Nitish Kumar and JD-U leader KC Tyagi met INLD president and ex-Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala at his residence in Gurgaon to inquire about his well-being.
The meeting between the leaders of the JDU, a BJP ally, and Om Prakash Chautala comes at a time when the latter is batting to forge a “third front" at the national level.
“I have respect for him. We have longstanding ties and he had asked me to meet him once I come to Delhi. There isn’t any political agenda for this meeting," Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said after meeting with OP Chautala over lunch.