PM’s speech was conspicuous by the absence of friendliness. Though, following alliance dharma, PM said that Kumar would be the CM in Bihat if the alliance won, he named Nitish Kumar only once in his Gaya rally where he spoke for nearly 30 minutes.
To assume that Nitish did not understand what Modi actually meant would be equally naïve.
Nitish took no time to launch a counter attack. A few hours later in the Bhagalpur rally, he got the chance where with Modi by his side, he opened the riot card. He recalled the Bhagalpur riots – the most threatening word for Modi, and said he was the one who delivered justice to the riots victims.
In a veiled reference to the BJP and Modi, Kumar said, “I don’t discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion. Whole of Bihar is my family.” Then who is to be blamed for the rising caste and religious discrimination in the society? Readers know better than anyone else.
Revealing his secular heart and mind, Nitish Kumar, who is said to be uncomfortable with the high pitch nationalistic fervor of the BJP, said that “There are some who create conflict in the society due to which riots take place in the society.”
Bihar watchers believe the gulf between the two leaders, which was so far below the surface, has not only resurfaced but also widened.
While Nitish believes that he may suffer losses because of the BJP’s hypernationalism and communal tone, the BJP feels Nitish Kumar is becoming a liability rather than an asset. It will come as no surprise if in the coming days we witness more such barbs between the BJP and JD (U) leaders which may finally push Nitish Kumar to bid adieu to the BJP for one more time – perhaps for the last time.