MP: Better Late Than Never, Says Athawale On Nitish Kumar's Switch To NDA

MP: Better Late Than Never, Says Athawale On Nitish Kumar's Switch To NDA

The central minister of state for social justice and empowerment said Kumar has taken the right decision at the right time to be a part of the NDA.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, January 28, 2024, 07:28 PM IST
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MP: Better Late Than Never, Says Athawale On Nitish Kumar's Switch To NDA |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday welcomed JD(U) president Nitish Kumar's decision to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, calling it better late than never, and said there is no strength left in the opposition INDIA bloc.

The central minister of state for social justice and empowerment said Kumar has taken the right decision at the right time to be a part of the NDA.

Earlier in the day, Kumar resigned as the chief minister of Bihar, saying things were not working well for him in the Mahagathbandhan and the opposition bloc INDIA. He also staked a claim to form a new government with the BJP, which he had dumped less than 18 months ago.

Before his resignation, Kumar's JD(U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) were ruling partners in the state.

"We had told Nitish ji not to go with Lalu Yadav (RJD chief) saying 'they won't treat you well'. But better late than never... I had told him to align with Modi ji. Now, he has made the right decision, so I am thanking him," Athawale told reporters here.

The Union Minister claimed that the opposition grouping has got a big blow due to Kumar's departure.

Narendra Modi will become prime minister again in 2024. Nobody can stop the 'vikas rath' of Narendra Modi and we all are sitting on it, Athawale said.

Athawale, who is the president of the Republican Party of India (A), also took a potshot at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's ongoing Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'.

When the Congress government was there for 70 years, why Rahul Gandhi's party did not unite the country? The Constitution is already uniting the country. Narendra Modi is there to do this. Gandhi should rather take a yatra to unite the Congress," he said.

Referring to Gandhi's defeat in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi constituency, earlier considered a secure political base for his family, in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Athawale quipped that the Congress leader should be worried about his own party.

He said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Kejriwal have already decided not to share seats with Congress in the states governed by their parties.

While the Trinamool Congress is in power in Bengal, AAP rules Delhi and Punjab.

'No strength left in INDIA alliance'

"There is no strength left in the INDIA bloc," he said.

Athawale also sought an apology from the Congress, accusing Rahul Gandhi's close aide Sam Pitroda of "endorsing" Sudheendra Kulkarni's views that Jawaharlal Nehru's contribution to the making of the Constitution was more than that of B R Ambedkar.

The Union minister said Pitroda did this at the behest of Congress.

Earlier on Saturday, BJP leaders shared a screenshot of Indian Overseas Congress head Pitroda's now-deleted post on X in which he shared Kulkarni's article on the issue and asked the Congress leadership if they also support such "anti-Ambedkar" views.

Kulkarni, a former close aide of BJP veteran L K Advani, has in the article said that Ambedkar was not the maker of India's Constitution and the contribution of Nehru was far greater in its framing than Ambedkar.

Athawale claimed, "We will win over 400 seats in the coming Lok Sabha seat.

I had said once that Modi ji will come in 2029, 2034, 2039 and 2044. There is no scope for others till 2044. I am with Modi ji, who built several monuments of Dr BR Ambedkar." The Union minister thanked Modi for making Mohan Yadav, an OBC, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Expressing happiness over the Ram temple consecration at Ayodhya, he said said that the Mughals "destroyed the earlier shrine to build a mosque 500 years back as per the evidence found by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and same submitted to the Supreme Court".

The SC's decision in the matter was welcomed by all, including Muslims who also got five acres of land for the mosque, he said.

Congress leaders should have attended the Ram temple consecration ceremony as invitations were sent to them by the Ram Mandir Trust and it was a non-political event, Athawale said.

To a question over the selection of a new chief minister in Madhya Pradesh over Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Athawale said Chouhan was the chief minister for a long period and a new OBC face was given the opportunity.

Chouhan will contest Lok Sabha polls and reach Delhi to become Union minister, Athawale said.

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