Patna, Aug 9: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of insulting Bihar and its people by calling it a 'BIMARU' or sick state.
"After insulting Biharis by questioning my DNA last month, Modi has again insulted Bihar and Biharis by terming it a Bimaru state," Nitish Kumar told the media.
Nitish Kumar insisted that Bihar was no more a BIMARU state. "It is an open secret."
Experts once used to collectively describe undivided Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as "BIMARU" states to denote their backwardness. That terminology is presently not widely accepted.
Addressing a public meeting in Gaya, about 100 km from here, on Sunday, Modi said if the BJP-led NDA won the coming assembly elections Bihar would rid itself of the 'BIMARU' adjective.
"We will take Bihar out of 'BIMARU' tag in the next five years by economic development like in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan," the prime minister said.
Nitish Kumar pointed out that Modi forgot to mention that when Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan got out of the BIMARU classification, the country was ruled by a non-BJP government.
He said Modi had in a way threatened people by asking them to vote for the BJP if they desired help from the central government. "What kind of cooperative federalism is this?"
The chief minister described the BJP as 'Badka Jhootha Party' after Modi called Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) as the "Janata ka daman aur utpidan" party.
He challenged Modi to prove his allegation that the JD-U had spent Rs.300 crore on the election campaign.
"He should prove it as he has a habit of telling lies time and again."
Nitish Kumar also reminded Modi how then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had reminded Modi to uphold "raj dharma" after the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat when he (Modi) was the chief minister.