Patna: Janata Dal United leader Shivanand Tiwari embarrassed his party by openly praising Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at the party's convention in Rajgir on Tuesday. He then went on to attack party leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
"JDU's alliance with the BJP was working fine. JDU broke ties with the BJP because of national politics. BJP elevated Narendra Modi, who comes from a very humble ground. He has struggled a lot to reach where he is today and for this I admire him a lot. We will fight him but we should also be aware of his strengths," he said as Nitish Kumar and other JDU leaders looked on.
Questioning why Nitish Kumar was jealous of Modi, Tiwari praised Modi's 'modest background'. "I am an old colleague of yours Nitishji, I would be happy when my friends will move ahead. This demand for special package for Bihar was my idea," he said.
Tiwari added, "We don't want to be the Prime Minister. When someone is shining, what is the harm in working together with a large heart? Why are you jealous," Tiwari questioned, leading to an uproar at the convention.
Many may raise questions if Tiwari is keen on joining the BJP. Shivanand Tiwari has been unhappy at being sidelined within the JD(U). He was recently removed as the spokesperson of the party.
His term as the Rajya Sabha MP, too, is coming to an end and there is a possibility that he may not get a second term. Along with JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, he has been of the view that it was a mistake for Nitish to have snapped off ties with the BJP.
Tiwari in fact has an image of being a political turncoat who was with RJD while Lalu Prasad was in power and then moved to JD(U) as Nitish's clout grew in Bihar.