Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday virtually put his alliance partner BJP on notice, at a time when the party is holding its national executive meet in Patna.
Kumar was indignant at the BJP-run Gujarat government for its flood relief claims in advertisements published in some Patna dailies.
One advertisement given by a private agency shows Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Kumar holding hands as an expression of solidarity.
Kumar’s outburst has come when the assembly elections in the state are just four months away.
The ad that particularly angered Kumar was the one that praised Modi’s contribution to Bihar flood relief.
Kumar said: “I am going to find out the amount contributed by the Gujarat government (for the Bihar flood of 2008) and if it has not been spent, I would not even hesitate refunding it. It is against Indian culture to offer help and then go on drum beating it.”
Kumar made no secret of the fact that he was unhappy not just with Modi but the BJP itself, by cancelling the dinner he was supposed to be hosting in honour of the BJP national executive members.
About the private agency ad, Kumar said, “It’s unethical. No consent was taken either from me or from the chief minister’s office for using the photographs. I’ll take legal action against all those who used my photographs.”
A BJP leader in Gujarat said: “This is Kumar’s ploy to deflect public attention from the dissidence he is facing in his own party.”