No compromise with basic principles for power: Nitish

Patna, April 29 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday asserted that he will not compromise with his basic principles, such as secularism, to stay in power and will instead prefer to quit.

“I have never compromised with basic principles, whether I stay in power or not,” he said, while addressing a meeting of minority cell workers of his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Rajgir in Nalanda district.

Nitish Kumar said that the day it becomes clear that he will have to compromise with basic principles, he will not rethink over them and not hesitate to quit.

Without naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that he and his party shared power with a saffron party but hardly made any compromise with principles of secularism.

The equation between the ruling coalition partners BJP and JD-U has been on a downslide since Nitish Kumar indirectly attacked Modi, widely seen as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, over the 2002 riots at a rally in New Delhi last month.

Muslims make up around 16 percent of Bihar’s 105 million population.

They determine the poll outcome in 60 of 243 assembly constituencies, mainly in the border districts of Kishanganj, Araria and Bhagalpur, northern districts of Supoul, Madhepura, Saharsa and Darbangha, and central districts of Gopalganj, Siwan, Biharsharif, Gaya and Nalanda, where they have a presence of anything between 18 and 70 percent.

In about 50 other constituencies, Muslim voters make up 10-17 percent of the electorate, enough to substantially influence poll outcomes.

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