New Delhi, June 17: After the JD(U) terminated its alliance with the BJP, the latter hit back by releasing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's speech made in 2003 in which he praised his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi as a leader with a future outside Gujarat.
"I am certain that Narendrabhai will not be confined to Gujarat for long and the country will get the benefit of his services," Kumar said at the inauguration of a railway project.
The BJP's move to embarrass the JD(U) leader, who has opposed Modi on grounds of 'secularism', is aimed to show that Kumar was not always against the saffron strongman, irrespective of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The JD(U), however, argued that the BJP's charges showed its desperation after the alliance was broken but said it won't change th fact that Modi is a deeply polarising figure in Indian politics.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh admitted that the JD(U)'s walk-out was unfortunate and would weaken the NDA in its fight against the Congress. Another senior leader Sushma Swaraj also tweeted on Sunday, saying the break-up was sad and unfortunate. Veteran leader L K Advani reportedly cited the elevation of Modi as the prime reason behind the break-up in alliance.
Singh said if Modi was accused of being communal because of the 2002 riots, there have been thousands of riots in the years of Congress rule since independence.
On the alliance with JD(U), Singh said the BJP had always treated the former as a younger brother and teh two parties' 17-year-old relation was not a political but an emotional one. He said that in 2000, the BJP was a bigger party than the JD(U) in Bihar with 60 seats as against the latter's 36-37 seats but yet, it considered choosing a JD(U) leader to become the chief minister.
He warned the JD(U) that a party which ignores the feelings of the people in a democracy can not survive long.