Seeking to play down Narendra Modi's remark that caste leaders had pushed Bihar into economic backwardness, the BJP on Tuesday said the Gujarat chief minister had referred to previous governments including the RJD regime and not to the current NDA dispensation.
"Modi did not make the remarks about the NDA government, but referred to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and earlier governments in Bihar," deputy chief minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told reporters in Patna.
Prasad had brazenly indulged in caste politics at the cost of development during the entire three terms of the RJD- led rule in Bihar in contrast to development agendas of the NDA which enjoy support of both upper and backward castes, besides other sections of the society, he claimed.
"I have seen the CD of Modi's speech and his remarks are not aimed at the NDA government, the Gujarat chief minister made the remarks about caste politics apparently to warn some BJP leaders against playing out caste politics," the Bihar deputy chief minister said.
He blamed a section of the media for twisting the Gujarat chief minister's remarks with an apparent intention to create controversy as if the reference was intended at the NDA government headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Kumar and Modi have had a strained relations ever since the former did not allow the BJP leader to campaign in Bihar in 2009 general elections and a year later cancelled a dinner hosted for the visiting BJP leadership at the party's national executive in Patna which was attended by the Gujarat chief minister.