The days of the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar were numbered, Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said, claiming that more than 50 Janata Dal-United MLAs were in touch with the party and worked for its candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, triggering an angry reaction from the ruling party.
“More than 50 JD-U MLAs are in touch with us. They have openly supported us and worked for our candidates in this Lok Sabha polls. They are not happy with the way things are in Bihar now,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters at the airport in Patna before leaving for campaigning.
“Nitish Kumar's political graph has plummeted and these JD-U MLAs are supporting us out of their fear that RJD and Lalu Prasad may come back to power in Bihar. They don't want this to happen. They do not want the state to slip back to its old days," he said.
The claim has elicited sharp reaction from JD-U while other political parties described it as "untimely".
Bihar Food Minister and Kumar's close confidant Shyam Rajak claimed that the situation was quite the opposite as many BJP MLAs were seen at the chief minister's poll rallies whereas no JD-U MLA could be seen with them.
"Modi is a product of RSS school of thought, holds master's degree in propaganda and believes in the theory of Goebbels (Hitler's Propaganda Minister)," he added.
JD-U spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the statement was part of a strategy to create "pressure" on officials ahead of the remaining two phases of polling in the state and urged the Election Commission to take notice of it and initiate necessary action.
In his reaction to the BJP's claim, RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav said, "Right now everybody is engaged in Lok Sabha elections. So what is the logic of talking about state politics."
"It is like being in Ranchi but talking about Karachi (Pakistan city)," he added.
Congress in-charge of Bihar Satyavrata Chaturvedi described the BJP assertions as "untimely" as all parties and leaders were busy with parliamentary polls.