statesman news service
PATNA, 17 JUNE: Twenty-four hours after the JD(U) had severed its ties with the BJP on the question of the elevation of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party’s election committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the state BJP today hit back at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, announcing it would show the people CDs of Mr Kumar’s “high praises” of Mr Modi even after the 2002 Godhra riots. The exercise would focus on exposing the “double standards” of Mr Kumar, said Mr Sushil Modi, who was the state deputy chief minister in the JD(U)-BJP government.
According to Mr Modi, Mr Kumar had, at a railway programme in 2003, termed the Gujarat chief minister as “potential national leader” and “development-oriented politician” while asking the people to look beyond Gujarat riots.
“We have a number of CDs in which Mr Kumar publicly and uninhibitedly praised his Gujarat counterpart, going to the extent of saying Mr Modi’s services and leadership would be beneficial to the country. We have collected all these CDs for distribution among the people of Bihar," said the senior BJP leader.
Mr Kumar sought to explain away his laudatory words about Mr Modi by asserting that it was a “poor defence” while Mr Sushil Modi asked if the chief minister had made similar praises about other chief ministers as well.
“If Nitish cares for protocol, he should have shaken hands with Narendra Modi out of courtesy during several official engagements, but he chose to ignore the Gujarat chief minister’s presence in the recent past,” Mr Sushil Modi said.
The BJP has taken exception to the dismissal of the 11 ministers, describing it as very “shocking”. “We worked together for more than seven years in the government and had never expected such treatment by the chief minister. We were ready with our resignation letters but were dismissed by the government,” said Mr Modi, adding the reason cited by the chief minister for their dismissal was weak.
The chief minister had dismissed the 11 BJP ministers on the ground that they had not attended offices for a few days and cleared files. “On a similar ground, dozens of JD-U ministers who stayed away from their offices for over a fortnight and campaigned for the party candidate in the Maharajganj bypoll must be sacked,” demanded Mr Modi. Mr Modi denied Mr Kumar&’s allegation that senior BJP leaders had been sidelined.