After the “humiliation”, the BJP has decided to hit back at its former ally JD(U). Apart from calling Bihar bandh on Tuesday, the BJP would screen Nitish’s pro-Modi speeches delivered shortly after the Gujarat riots to embarrass him. “We did not expect the Chief Minister to sack us in such an insulting manner and all of us feel deeply hurt by it. He could have given us a dignified exit by asking us to formally resign. The Chief Minister sacked us in a humiliating manner as if we were worthless,” said Sushil Modi, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister.
“We have a number of CDs in which Nitish Kumar has publicly praised his Gujarat counterpart saying 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,” Sushil said.
In one of the speeches delivered in December 2003, Nitish was seen praising Modi and wishing him a national role after the development works that he undertook in Gujarat.
Nitish, meanwhile, cited protocol issues for his remarks as he was the Railway Minister then and had gone to Gujarat to inaugurate a project. “When I used to visit other states as a Railway Minister, those speeches were never political. It is part of the protocol to praise the host state and not to speak against them,” Nitish detailed. However, Sushil countered it. “Nitish’s speech of 2003 is not the only one and the BJP has collected many more CDs,” he said.
Nitish also accused the BJP of betraying and cornering elders in the party, in an apparent reference to Advani. Both JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and Nitish hinted at a rapprochement, if BJP leader L K Advani was at the helm. “We will see if Advani returns at the helm of affairs.... We had fought 2009 elections projecting Advani as our prime ministerial candidate,” Sharad said. As the post-split period is turning out to be acrimonious, the Congress also joined the debate to draw political mileage. Newly-appointed Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said: “The politics of coalition is continuing in the nation. The Congress has taken care of the fact that like-minded and secular parties should work together in the country. There are no two opinions about it.”