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No Need For Uniform Civil Code In Bihar: Key Aide Of CM

The chief minister has been a BJP ally for nearly three decades but not on the same page on issues wherein the saffron party's stance seems to be in line with its RSS background

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There was "no need" for a uniform civil code in Bihar, JD(U) minister Ashok Choudhary said on Friday, notwithstanding passionate advocacy by ally BJP.

Choudhary, one of the most powerful cabinet ministers and a key aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, made the statement in response to queries from journalists who pointed out that many of the BJP-ruled states were coming out with their own versions of the civil code.

"Our leader Nitish Kumar has always maintained that there should be peace, mutual respect and harmony in the society. We have been successful in ensuring that. So there seems to be no need why we should have a uniform civil code here," he told reporters.

Notably, the chief minister has been a BJP ally for nearly three decades but not on the same page on issues wherein the saffron party's stance seems to be in line with its RSS background.

The JD(U) had refused to back the Narendra Modi government on triple talaq and Article 370. Although it supported the CAA, a proposed nationwide NRC has been stoutly opposed and a resolution to the effect passed by the assembly here, interestingly, with all BJP members in tow.

Choudhary was also asked about the warmth Kumar exuded for the two sons of his arch-rival Lalu Prasad when they visited the JD(U) headquarters on Thursday to attend an Iftar party.

Jaws dropped and eyes popped when Kumar walked out of the premises to see them off. Tej Pratap Yadav, the RJD supremo's elder son who likes to wear his heart on the sleeves, was clearly bowled over by the hospitality and he heartily shared pictures of the moments he spent with "chacha" (uncle).

"These are social courtesies. Our leader went to the Iftar hosted by RJD leaders last week. They reciprocated when they were invited to the one hosted by our party. It does not have a political significance," insisted Choudhary.

Incidentally, Tej Pratap and his more savvy and politically influential younger brother Tejashwi had started off their political career under the wings of Kumar in 2015 when the latter had a tie-up with their father.

Both had made their debuts in the assembly polls held that year and while Tejashwi was straightaway made the Deputy CM with some key portfolios, Tej Pratap too got inducted into the cabinet and became the health minister.

Inherent contradictions in the alliance between the arch rivals led to Kumar's return to the BJP-led NDA in 2017.

His equation with "the new BJP", which has acquired a near-hegemonic status nationally, has been patchy. The BJP, which now has more MLAs than the JD(U), often betrays the desire for the top seat of power in the state.

It is believed in the political circles that Kumar, who is a master of the art of political optics, sends subtle hints to the domineering ally whenever the going gets tough, by cosying up to opponents with whom he does not seem, yet, to have burnt his bridges.


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