VP backs Nitish, says politics mustn’t be based mostly on faith

PATNA: Amid fears of communal tensions in Bihar in the run-up to Ram Navami celebrations, vice-president M on Thursday backed CM Nitish Kumar’s stand on the need to shun the use of religion for political ends.
“Politics should not be based on religion or family, but on issue of development,” the vice-president said while inaugurating the Bihar Diwas celebrations organised at Gandhi Maidan in Patna to mark the 106th foundation day of the state.

Maintaining that people should pay attention to the four Cs — character, calibre, capacity and conduct, Naidu said everything would go in vain if three other Cs — caste, community and cash — were given more attention.

Governor Satya Pal Malik and CM along with deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and state education minister Krishna Nandan Verma also spoke on the occasion. The event coincided with the conclusion of the state government’s year-long Champaran Satyagrah centenary celebrations organised to commemorate the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to attend to the grievances of the farmers in 1917. The centenary celebrations had started on April 10 last year.

Nitish said certain groups were using religious occasions for ulterior motives, especially during festivals like Ram Navami and Dussehra. “There are people who indulge in ugly activities. It is my humble appeal to people not to get trapped in the nefarious designs of such people,” the CM said and added, amid thunderous applause, that social harmony has been the biggest achievement of his government during the last 12 years.

Development otherwise was the dominant theme of the speeches of Naidu, governor Malik and Nitish. “Everyone should feel as if s/he is also a partner in development of India and Bihar. PM has been saying this about India,” Naidu said.

Naidu also asked the “younger generations” to take active part in social reforms like prohibition and eradication of child marriage and dowry. “They should even revolt if they see atrocities being committed on women,” he said.

CM Nitish dwelt at length on the development initiatives of his government. The state’s budget has increased from Rs 26,300 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 1.8 lakh crore for 2018-19, and the plan expenditure went up from Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 87,000 crore during the period, he said.

“Though the separation of Jharkhand from Bihar in 2000 caused gloom, we built the state’s economy on the basis of our inherent strengths like fertile soil, abundance of water, historical and cultural places and people’s capacity for hard work,” the CM said. Deputy CM Modi echoed the CM’s views.

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