Patna/New Delhi | The battle for Bihar hotted up today, with Nitish Kumar raking up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘DNA’ barb against him, terming it as an insult to the people of Bihar, as BJP shot back, advising the Chief Minister not to equate his supreme arrogance with state’s identity.
In a clear indication that Bihari pride would be one of the major themes of his electoral campaign, Kumar, facing one of the toughest electoral battles of his political career, wrote an ‘open letter’ to Modi, noting that the Prime Minister’s comments were unbecoming of the office he holds.
Your words have been taken as an insult by a large section of the people of the state and beyond. Most of us also feel that coming from you, the comment is rather unbecoming of the office you hold, he said in the letter, which was released on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. Most of us feel these statements have gone beyond questioning my own descent. They have disrespected the lineage of our people and denigrated the great legacy of the state, he said.
Demanding that the remarks be withdrawn, Kumar said, I have no doubt that this gesture of yours (withdrawing the remark) would go a long way in assuaging the sentiments of people and would further enhance the respect people have for you. Though the internet savvy Prime Minister has so far not responded to Kumar’s letter, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, a comrade-in-arms of the Chief Minister during the JP movement days, advised him not to equate his arrogance with the great identity of Bihar.
Nitish ji, do not equate your arrogance with the great identity of Bihar which is much greater, nobler, soberer and humbler (than yours), Prasad, also from Bihar, told reporters in Delhi. But a sharper retort came from Sushil Kumar Modi, who was Deputy Chief Minister under Kumar when BJP was part of the coalition government in Bihar.
Now that Kumar is in the company Congress, he is confusing himself for Bihar, he said recalling the famous remarks of Congress leader late D K Barua, who had once said, India is Indira and Indira is India. Modi, at a BJP rally in Muzaffarpur on July 25 had recalled how Kumar withdrew a dinner invitation to saffron party leaders following newspaper advertisements by the Gujarat government highlighting donations for the Kosi flood victims.
Modi had said Kumar snatched the plate from him but he felt hurt more when he also disrespected a Mahadalit leader former chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Modi went on to say, There seems to be some problem with his (Kumar’s) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy you respect even your political rivals. Sushil Kumar Modi said, the Prime Minister was referring to Kumar’s political DNA.
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