Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tarkishore Prasad replaced Sushil Kumar Modi as the deputy CM of Bihar following the developments that changed Bihar politics scenario in 2020. Since then, Prasad has been actively supporting the JDU alliance CM, Nitish Kumar in the state.
Speaking to The New Indian’s Executive Editor Rohan Dua in a special interview, Prasad made it clear that Nitish Kumar has full BJP backing and the party has no intention to make any changes in the leadership.
On emphasising upon the fact that the two parties are long term allies and that this is not the first time that they have come together to form a government, he said:
We have been collaborating with JDU since 2005. Nitish Kumar’s selection as CM post elections was made with great wisdom and we all accept him as our leader. We will never backtrack from his selection as CM
The political arena was rife with controversy when Prasad’s name was put forward by the BJP leadership. Four-term MLA from Katihar, Prasad, came with his own clout. He puts some to rest while confirming that his selection had a lot to do with BJP focus on West Bengal. “Border proximity of my seat to Bengal has been a factor and I don’t see anything wrong with that,” he says.
Speaking up on the spate of controversies that hit him recently alleging corruption and favouring kin for government contracts, Prasad said: “The allegations of corruption against me are unfair and a part of political conspiracy. Of the 2,800 contracts that were issued by the Bihar Government, only four went to my family and all projects were delivered on time. How does that get counted as favouritism?” RJD should first respond to the questions on the probes and scams during their rule, he countered. Also Read: 22 years after 34 were killed, Bihar village prays for justice against Maoists.
Highlighting the achievements of the JDU-BJP alliance, Prasad said that the focus has been on development in the state. “The second biggest hospital in Asia is being set up in Patna. Twelve bridges are being constructed with the support of NHAI and ADB over River Ganga. These bridges would be functional in next four years and would change the face of rural Bihar,” he said, while dismissing the allegations that the bridges are being constructed to woo Hindu electorate.
According to Prasad, Bihar has changed a lot under the JDU-BJP rule. “Today, Bihar is counted among well-governed Indian states,” he said. On the subject of bringing changes to the state’s excise policy, Prasad said that the state government has no intention of changing the “dry” status of the state.
Bihar faced a lot of violence due to alcohol. We would not want to go back to those times. The demand to declare the state as dry came from the people (especially women) of the state and we honour their sentiment