Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday said voters of Bihar would retire Nitish Kumar in this assembly election, commenting on Nitish’s recent remark that this would be his last election.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Raut said, “Nitish ji is a very big leader. He has played his innings. If a leader says that this is my last election, he should bid farewell with respect. The people of Bihar were waiting for the occasion of this farewell. People will retire him in this election.”
On Thursday, Kumar who is also the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA’s) chief ministerial candidate for this election during a rally in Bihar’s Purnia said,v“All’s well that ends well. The day after, there is voting. This is my last election. Will you vote for the JD-U candidate or not?”
A storm of speculations erupted on whether Kumar, who is seeking a seventh term, would retire from active politics.
His immediate rival- RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav said Kumar had worn out and he is not able to manage the state, adding that the announcement of retirement indicated that the CM had understood the ground realities.
Another rival of the chief minister- Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan- who was earlier with the NDA questioned what Nitish Kumar’s voters will do if he runs away from the battlefield. Paswan also said he would not let Kumar get away from the corruption probe. Paswan had earlier labelled Kumar as the most ‘corrupt chief minister of Bihar’, adding he would befriend anyone to remain in power.
Meanwhile, the JD(U) issued a clarification on Friday stating Kumar was not retiring from Bihar politics.
Party’s state unit president and MP Bashistha Narain Singh said that the chief minister’s ‘last election’ remark at the rally meant it was the last day of his campaigning. Singh added that Kumar would continue to work as long as the public of Bihar wants.
Polling for the third and final phase is currently underway in 78 constituencies across 15 districts in the state. A voter turnout of 34.82 per cent was recorded till 2 pm as voters started exercising their franchise since 7am. Results for all the three phases will be declared on November 10.