No danger to BJP’s prospects in Gujarat, says Nitish

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Parliament House in New Delhi. Photo - PTI

FILE: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Parliament House in New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls. Even as the opposition is trying hard to spunk their election campaign on the issue of GST and note ban, Nitish believes that voters of Gujarat were likely to be swayed by the sentiment that “they have their own prime minister”.

“I do not think there is any danger to the BJP in the Gujarat polls. This is my assessment. Will the people of the state vote against the party when it is likely to be at the back of their minds that they have their own prime minister? We ought to take these sentiments into account,” he told the media in Patna.

Nitish also made a light of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s sustained criticism of centre and state government during the election campaign.

“I have seen him (Gandhi) in action for long. I am not aware of any new aspect that is being pointed out,” he said.

The JD(U), however, dismissed the queries of Gujarat Assembly polls been dubbed as ‘Semi Final’ to 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“A situation has arisen where elections are held in some part of the country every year and every such poll is deemed to be a semi-final. This will change only when parliamentary, assembly and civic body polls are held simultaneously, as was the case long time back,” he said.

Though in a significant disclosure, he batted for the simultaneous polls, something which BJP has been aggressively advocating too.

“I am in favour of simultaneous polls (to Parliament and the state Assemblies). But that is not possible in the foreseeable future. Over the years, mid-term polls have taken place in many states which has upset the schedule. A state, where the Assembly may not have completed its tenure by the time Lok Sabha polls are announced, is unlikely to agree to such a proposal.

“But this is a matter worth a national debate. The constitutional options must be explored.”

The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18. JD(U) is contesting on five seats.

(With inputs from PTI)