Embittered by JD(U) snapping ties with NDA, Bihar BJP has decided to expose "duplicity" of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by playing CDs of his speeches before people in which he "consistently praised" Narendra Modi since the 2002 riots.
"We have a number of CDs in which Kumar has publicly and uninhibitedly praised his Gujarat counterpart and even praised him to the effect that his services and leadership will be beneficial to the country...We have collected all these CDs for display before the people of Bihar so that his duplicity could be exposed thoroughly," senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters today.
BJP leaders will visit villages and all nooks and corners of Bihar and play all the CDs in which Nitish had praised his Gujarat counterpart on several occasions since the occurrence of 2002 Gujarat riots, he said.
Sushil said Nitish, during a function in Kutch on December 13, 2003, "had downplayed the Gujarat riots a year earlier and said the impressive development in that state should get precedence over the incident which should be buried once and for all."
Dismissing Nitish's defence that his praise of Modi was for the sake of protocol, the former Deputy Chief Minister said, "One sticks to agendas of a particular function in making a speech at an official function and does not talk of sensitive issues and make motivational remarks asking a leader to play a national role."
"The BJP has decided to give a national role to Modi in 2013, but Kumar had forecast a bigger role for the Gujarat Chief Minister a decade back," he said.
Nitish's 2003 speech in praise of Modi is not the only one and BJP has collected many more CDs, which it will display before the people in Bihar and outside to expose his duplicity, he said.
Sushil also sought to flatten Nitish's protocol plea to defend his praise of Modi saying, the same protocol demands that a Chief Minister congratulate his counterpart upon victory in assembly polls, but the Bihar CM gave a go by to that norm by not sending congratulatory message to Modi when he returned to power for third term in 2012 assembly polls.
"If Nitish cares for protocol, he should have shaken hands with Modi out of courtesy during several official engagements, but he chose to ignore the Modi's presence in recent past," Sushil said, adding that Nitish cannot talk about propriety anymore.
Sushil also defended BJP's decision to keep Modi out of political turf in Bihar during 2009 general elections and the assembly polls a year later, apparently under Nitish's diktat, and said there was no restriction on visit of Modi to Bihar at any point of time.
"We contested the polls in Bihar on the strength of our local leaders and under the circumstances, never required the services of Modi," he said.
Sushil Kumar Modi, who was sacked along with the 11 BJP ministers by the Bihar Chief Minister yesterday, said he felt "hurt" by the insulting manner in which they were removed and said this was not expected from Nitish given the warmth of relationship between them over the past seven years.
"We did not expect the Chief Minister to sack us in such an insulting manner and all of us feel deeply hurt by it as he could have given us a dignified exit by asking us to formally resign and send to him letters to his effect," the former deputy chief minister said.
"The Chief Minister kept us in dark till the last minute and sacked us in humiliating manner as if we were worthless," he said, adding that all BJP ministers would have happily resigned and submitted letters to that effect in person or through emissaries.
On Nitish's charge that the BJP ministers were sacked for not performing their constitutional duties and boycotting cabinet meeting, Sushil said if that was the case, a dozen JD(U) ministers, including the Education Minister P K Shahi, should have been sacked as all of them were campaigning for two to three weeks in Maharajganj parliamentary constituency for the JD(U) nominee and not attending to their offices.
"The Chief Minister should have shown dignity by parting ways happily for the sake of propriety and goodwill in public life, but he did nothing of that sort and sacked us on fabricated charges which we came to know through media," he said.
"We have spoken on phone many times over the past seven years, but Nitish did not have the courtesy to speak to me on convening the cabinet meeting or demand resignation of the BJP ministers," he said.
Sushil also questioned Nitish for convening the cabinet meeting in a hurried manner without proper agenda for approval as has been evidenced from the fact that no briefing was done of that meeting, which it appears was called "to inform us for our sacking from the government".
On Nitish's charge that he firmed up decision to split from the NDA after watching humiliation of BJP patriarch L K Advani and the younger party leaders' lack of respect for their elders, the senior BJP leader said Nitish "has no business to talk about how we treat our elders and in Advani's case, we have great respect for him."
At the same time, he said Kumar should recall humiliating veteran JD(U) leader George Fernandes by allegedly denying ticket to him to contest Muzaffarpur parliamentary seat in 2009 and putting up an official candidate against Fernandes and getting him defeated in the polls.
He lashed out at Nitish for finding singing paeans of Advani after criticising him during the early 1990s in the same vein as he has been doing against Modi lately.