Bihar's opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal has hit out at chief minister Nitish Kumar, questioning his secular credentials after he warmly greeted his Gujarat counterpart, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi, at the NCTC meeting in New Delhi.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at the meeting of chief ministers on National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in New Delhi. (PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist)
Leader of Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui said that Nitish Kumar's handshake with Modi is nothing but his real face.
"Nitish Kumar's outburst against Modi was a political hypocrisy. He has been trying to fool people. They are good friend in public as well in private," said Siddiqui.
The Congress also criticised Nitish Kumar.
"The way a smiling Nitish Kumar met Modi and shook his hand like an old friend has exposed Kumar's double standards over his stand against Modi in recent months," senior Congress leader Ashok Choudhary said.
A leader of Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United (JD-U) sought to downplay the incident
"It was a coursey handshake at a meeting, nothing more than that," said JD-U leader Ravinder Kumar.
Nitish Kumar and the JD-U, which have been consistently making attempts to woo Muslim voters in the state, had strongly opposed Modi's coming to Bihar for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and the state assembly elections in 2010.
Differences between Nitish Kumar and the BJP over Modi began three years ago when he expressed displeasure over newspaper advertisements featuring him and Modi. Later, Nitish Kumar even returned the money given by Gujarat to the state in 2008 for flood relief.