Cannot Let Criticisms Distract Me; Says Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar speaking at a program at Hotel Maurya in Patna on Tuesday.

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Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, speaking at the "Conclave of New Roadmap' organized by a private news channel at Hotel Maurya in Patna on Tuesday, dismissed criticism against him by his former allies saying he did not care what others said about him because his focus continued to remain on the development of Bihar.

"People have been disparaging me for joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also for asking the Prime Minister to accord Central University status to Patna University but I am not perturbed by these criticisms because my entire focus is on the development of Bihar. I don't hear who is saying what because if I started to react to every criticism, I will not be able to do my job effectively," he said.

Continuing to defend himself, Kumar said that he never forgets those who have always cared about the welfare of Bihar.

"I am thankful to Murali Manohar Joshi, a BJP leader, for changing the status of Bihar College of Engineering to National Institute of Technology at my request. Similarly, I am obligated to late Arjun Singh, former Central Minister and a Congress leader, who brought Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to Bihar. When it comes to the development of Bihar, I don't care which leader is from which party," the Chief Minister said.

No speech of Kumar is complete without the mention of prohibition and Tuesday was no exception either.

"Prohibition is here to stay. I know people are making jokes about me how prohibition has failed in Bihar but the same people should go to villages if they really want to see the positive effects of prohibition in the state. Those who are still indulging in illegal liquor trade will be caught and punished appropriately. If you drink and get caught, don't come running to us for mercy. You will be imprisoned as required by the law," he said.

Rest of the Chief Minister's speech included reference to better power situation in Bihar, improved attendance in Bihar schools, and massive improvement in roads, highways and bridges.

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