PATNA/DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been accused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring a sub-quota for Muslims, today dared him to debate on the issue, saying he was "misleading" people and giving Bihar polls a "communal" colour.
"Modiji I'm ready to debate the issue of reservation with you anyday. Stop misleading people & your efforts to add communal colour to BiharPolls," Kumar tweeted. Party general secretary K C Tyagi in Delhi said, "Chief Minister Kumar is ready to debate with Modi on it in Delhi, Patna or Ahmedabad, on the issue."
Rejecting the Prime Minister's charge that 'Mahagathbandhan' leaders are trying to "steal" 5 per cent from quota to give it to a particular community, he said "no leader of the 'grand alliance' has sought reservation in the name of religion. "How can anyone seek it when it is clear that reservation on religious basis is not possible unless the Constitution is amended".
In an election rally in Gopalganj, Modi had referred to a discussion in Parliament on August 24, 2005 when Nitish Kumar had favoured a five per cent quota on religious lines and dared the Bihar chief minister to reply to his assertion. Attacking the Prime Minister, Tyagi said that such remarks by the Prime Minister and the "firecrackers in Pakistan" remarks by BJP chief Amit Shah are not new as the BJP has been deploying this method in Gujarat in successive elections in the past.
"What is Nitish Kumar's connection to Pakistan. This is their habit of Gujarat, but this is not Gujarat but Bihar. The politics of Gujarat will not succeed in Bihar," he said. Modi has been attacking Lalu over issues pertaining to the former Bihar chief minister's regime.
Launching a counter attack, Lalu on Twitter said, "Modi is the convener of scams. He doesn't have moral fiber to prevent, condemn and censure his own govt & party's scams."
"Modi & his team is digitally illiterate & still talk abt Digital India.The Skill Development Minister needs to develop his own skills first," he further tweeted. Commenting on the Election Commission's ban on two controversial ads of BJP in Bihar after finding them as 'having the potential of creating mutual hatred', Tyagi and nominated Rajya Sabha MP K T S Tulsi stepped up the attack on the rival warning of "strict action" under criminal law against BJP leaders.