Nitish= Narendra Modi for BJP's Modi of Bihar

Patna, Oct 23: The Modi of Bihar has equated Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with PM Narendra Modi. The senior BJP leader was  speaking at the release of book of compilation of parliamentary speeches of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The Bihar CM had been a member of the Lok Sabha for a decade and a half before assuming power in the state.

Titled Vikas ki baatein (talks on development), the book was released at the Vidhan Sabha premises here in presence of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and a host of other senior leaders from the state.

"Nitishji is a courageous as PM Modi. He has done pathbreaking work which no CM will be able to match for the next 20-25 years. Liquor ban and reservation for women are some his top works," said Bihar Dy CM        

Kumar, who was preoccupied elsewhere, remained conspicuous by his absence at the book release function.

Former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, who was also invited for the function, did not make it to the occasion.

A product of 1974 JP movement, 67-year-old Kumar was elected to Lok Sabha six times during the period 1989 to 2004. In the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee he served as minister for Railways and Surface Transport. He is presently serving as Chief Minister of Bihar for the fifth time.

Addressing the function, Harivansh who was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a ticket of the JD(U) headed by the Chief Minister said the book is a testimony to the national outlook Nitish Kumar had while firmly keeping in mind the interests of Bihar.

Sifting through the pages of this book one cannot help marveling at the extraordinary talent that Kumar possesses and the quality of his debates at a time when parliamentary discourse was marked by deterioration, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman said.

Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar comes across as a strong leader who translates his words into action. It is also praiseworthy that despite having been in power for so long and occupying important central ministries before becoming chief minister of Bihar his reputation for probity remains unblemished, Harivansh said.

Sushil Kumar Modi said as Chief Minister of Bihar for over a decade, Kumar has set a benchmark which would remain unsurpassed for a long time. The book deserves a sequel containing his addresses to the bicameral legislature in the state since his assuming power in 2005.

I would also suggest that the publishers come up with a volume containing what people like me, who have worked with Nitish Kumar and known him at close quarters for long, have to say about the man, the senior BJP leader remarked.

Brought out by Prabhat Prakashan, the compilation contains all parliamentary speeches of the Kumar between 1989

when he made his Lok Sabha debut and 2005 when he returned to Bihar as the Chief Minister.

The volume contains Kumars addresses on a number of issues including the Ayodhya dispute when it was at its peak in the 1990s.

News24 Bureau/ PTI