PATNA: Voicing strong displeasure over Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling Bihar a BIMARU (laggard) state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today launched a counter attack and asked him to get his facts right.
He also hit back at Modi for warning of a return of 'Jungle Raj' if JD(U)-RJD alliance were to come to power after the assembly elections, reminding him of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's advice made in the aftermath of 2002 Gujarat riots to follow 'Raj Dharma'.
"He said Bihar is a BIMARU state. Bihar's growth rate, performance on social indices like education and health care present a picture which does not show it is a laggard state. He should have his facts right. Nobody will like to make a joke of himself by calling Bihar a BIMARU state," Kumar said hours after Modi promised to remove the tag by ushering in development once NDA was voted to power in the state.
On Modi's call to voters to elect an NDA government for rapid development of the state, Kumar said it went against the tenets of "cooperative federalism".
"He is threatening the people to vote for BJP. When states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were lifted out of BIMARU status some 10-12 years back, NDA was not in power at the centre," he said.
About Prime Minister's jibe at Kumar's alliance partner RJD chief Lalu Prasad's experiences in jail and that it would add to the dangers of voting their coalition to power in Bihar, the JD(U) leader shot back, asking,"What does he have to say about his own house?
"The person whom he has made the party chief (Amit Shah) spent 7 months in jail himself. We consider jails as reformatories where even yoga is taught, but he thinks otherwise," he said.