Narendra Modi's reported remark "We shall not tolerate a single Bihari in Gujarat elections" is seen by many as a tit-for-tat since Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not allow him to address election meetings in Bihar during the 2010 Assembly polls.
Back then, the latter had claimed that "law and order problems" could result from the Gujarat CM's visit to Bihar. However, Thackeray believes that Nitish Kumar was actually afraid of Bihari Muslims voting en masse against the JD(U) in case Narendra Modi campaigned for BJP candidates.
"Modi has vengefully hit back at Nitish Kumar this time. But, in the process, he has barred all other top Bihari leaders in the BJP, including its Deputy Chief Minister Sushilkumar Modi, national-level leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shahnawaz Hussain and others," Thackeray today wrote in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna.
"By keeping all Bihari leaders out, Modi has irritated not only Nitish Kumar but also the people of Bihar," the editorial said. It pointed out that Bihari politicians have not hit out at Narendra Modi and not a single protest has been organised against him in Patna or Delhi.
According to Thackeray, Gujaratis feel their CM's statement has upheld the 'dignity' of the state. "However, if such a thing had happened in Maharashtra, all the Bihar leaders would have come down to protect the 'dignity' of Biharis, migrants, workers. Even minor leaders from Maharashtra and persons like Laloo Prasad Yadav would have raised the matter at the national level," the Shiv Sena chief said.
"This time, when it involves Gujarat, they have meekly kept their tail hidden between their legs, proving that as far as Gujarat is concerned, besides Modi, nobody else counts," he noted.
Thackeray dared the Bihari politicians to celebrate 'Chhat Puja' on the banks of Narmada river in Nov. He stressed that the leaders of Maharashtra-based parties as well as those mediapersons who he alleged are part of the 'Bihar lobby' here should follow Narendra Modi's example by similarly upholding Maharashtra's dignity.