Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is attempting to use the forthcoming Karnataka elections as a basis for re-establishing his political party JD(U) in the Southern states of the country. And to do this, Nitish Kumar is bringing forward his “Bihar model” of development as a strong case for his candidates in the elections where the JD(U) is contesting in 25-30 seats. There was once a significant presence of the party in the Southern states.

As he set the tone for the campaigning for the Karnataka elections, he recalled that the state has traditionally given support to the JD(U) leaders in the past.

“When I became the CM, I had only one motto of ‘growth with justice’, which means development at every level and for everyone without any discrimination. All schemes in Bihar are meant for everyone,” said the Bihar chief minister. It is obvious that Nitish is attempting to spread his party beyond the confines of Bihar.

While not choosing to comment on the current scenario of Karnataka, Nitish said, “I do not want to comment on the political situation in the state today but I will speak about what we can do for Karnataka”. He also added that the only one to follow the concept of ‘Nudi Nante Nade’ (does what he preaches) is he himself.

“What is being done in Bihar, if it is replicated in Karnataka, which is already a developed state, it will take the state to new heights,” said the Janata Dal (United) chief. He then listed some of the measures that his government in Bihar has taken to reinstate his point.

He said that his government has made it a goal to take all children to school in Bihar because the state had a children illiteracy rate of 12.5 per cent. The clothes that the girls had to wear to primary school was not very comforting for them, said Nitish and this prevented many girls from attending school. The government then began to donate two sets of uniforms to the girls along with a pair of shoes and a bag, Nitish said. He added that these measures resulted in a steady increase in the number of girl students.

Nitish also raked up the issue of corruption while claiming himself to be a peace-loving anti-corruption crusader – an image that he wants to portray himself in. He said, “today the situation in the country is that of fear. But we should learn to live in peace and harmony.”

He went on to say that the type of politicians that we have now is a “disgrace”.

“They think if they have power, they can rule. But they should work like a trustee instead of helping the people they engage in making money”, he said.

The son of former Karnataka chief minister JH Patel – Mahima Patel is the current JD(U) Karnataka state president. Nitish heaped praises for him for his efforts at rebuilding the party in the state. The strategy of reaching out to old stalwarts was also applauded by the Bihar chief minister.

“JD(U)’s foundation was laid here in Bengaluru. Many socialist leaders have come from Karnataka while I was greatly influenced by Lohiya ji. JH Patel was one of those leaders and I have great respect for them,” Kumar said.

JD(U) will be fighting the Karnataka state election – to be held on May 12, alone despite being an NDA ally and a BJP friend. It is slated to contest in 30 of 224 seats for the state assembly.

(Adapted from CNNNews18.com)