Patna, Nov 19 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar today held the Congress responsible for growth of regional parties in the country saying that its long practice of selecting chief ministers from the party-ruled states accelerated this trend.
Mr Kumar told reporters after the Janta Darbar at his residence that regional parties with national outlook were good for democracy, but it would be detrimental to the interest of the country if they kept the regional concern above the national interests.
''The Congress party was in power at the Centre as well as in most states of the country during the post-independence era, but the regional aspirations in various parts of the country were not given due importance and it initiated a new practice of selecting chief ministers at the Centre instead of giving the opportunities to local MLAs to elect their leaders,'' he lamented adding that this trend provided good opportunities to leaders to fan the local sentiments to strenghthen the mass base in the area by floating regional parties having no national outlook.
When asked, Mr Kumar dubbed the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as ''unfortunate''-- describing the politics of coalition as ''compulsion''.
He cautioned Mr Singh that the era of one-party rule was over and one needed to tactfully handle the relationship between different allies in an alliance.
'' In Bihar, we are running the coalition government very smoothly without any hiccups,'' Mr Kumar said adding that the aspirations of the people of this state were being successfully fulfilled by the NDA government-- a coalition of JD(U) and the BJP.