As prime minister Narendra Modi hit out at the ‘opportunistic’ alliance of RJD and JD-U, raising the bogey of ‘jungle raj’ to underline why people should vote for the BJP-led NDA at his second rally in poll-bound Bihar, both chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad seemed all-prepared for real-time rebuttal through twitter.
It was sheer irony, as Kumar had barely a few hours before the arrival of PM, had branded Modi government as ‘twitter government’, accusing it of reacting and responding only on the social networking site. However, as Modi started his speech, Kumar and Prasad themselves could not resist the temptation of responding on twitter to counter the allegations.
जो जंगलराज-2 का डर दिखाते हैं वो ख़ुद मंडलराज-2 से घबराए हुए हैं | यह मंडलराज-2 Vs कमंडलराज होगा |— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) August 9, 2015
He returned fire, with answers to Modi’s arguments. If Modi cautioned people against a more dangerous ‘jungle raj’, with the addition of jail experience (referring to Lalu Prasad’s jail sentence in fodder scam), the RJD chief had a counter on twitter: “The PM should ask his friend Amit Shah as to what other than ‘Jhuth-fareb, jumla and bantnaumla(lies, deceit, rhetoric and divisive politics)’ he learnt in jail.”
Referring to the Indian mythology, Prasad said: “Lalu Yadav comes from that lineage in which the God had taken birth in prison and came out to destroy the perpetrators of injustice, evil and hypocrite.”
When Modi said he would return the love and support of Bihar people with interest, Kumar again tweeted: “For the last two years, he has been telling it to the people. In the last one-and-half year, he has not returned even the principle.” Kumar also had some questions on the fate of special status, bringing back black money and ushering in ‘achche din’ through tweet.
PM ज़रा अपने सवा साल के कार्यकाल के बारे में भी कुछ बोलें | बिहार के लिए क्या किया यह बताएं ?? भूतकाल के भूत ना बनें, आगे देखें !— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) August 9, 2015
The war of words on twitter intensified soon after. Prasad also asked the PM to list the achievements of his one-and-half year rule and what exactly he did for Bihar. “Bhootkal ke bhoot na bane, aage dekhen (Don’t be a ghost of the past, look forward.)
Kumar also came out in support on twitter, asking Modi: “Can you tell what bad habits Shah imbibed during his jail term.”
BJP president Shah was arrested for using his office as home minister in Gujarat to conspire with the state police for the murders of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.
. @narendramodi जनता के दमन और उत्पीड़न के सन्दर्भ में वाजपेयी जी द्वारा 2002 में आपको राजधर्म निभाने की नसीहत से पूरा देश वाकिफ है— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 9, 2015
Referring to PM's remark that if BJP is voted to power in the assembly elections, Bihar would no longer be in the list of "Bimaru" states, the chief minister said that by referring to Bihar as "bimaru" and calling the people of Bihar unfortunate, PM Modi was once again showing his prejudice against the state.
पहले DNA, अब बिहार को बीमारू और बिहारवासियों को दुर्भाग्यशाली बता कर मोदी जी बिहार वासियों के प्रति अपने पूर्वाग्रह को साबित कर रहे हैं
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 9, 2015
Kumar also reacted on Modi’s statement that nothing had happened in Bihar in the last 25 years. “And here state BJP leaders are claiming their contribution in Bihar’s development. Who is right – bade Modi or chhote Modi. First he spoke about DNA, and now he is insulting Biharis by calling the state bimaru and unfortunate,” he tweeted, reminding Modi of the ‘rajdharm’ sermon from former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Prasad even went to the extent of accusing PM of losing his mental balance as the election was approaching in Bihar. “He has a new low to the standards of a PM. People are looking at him as a joke now,” was the next tweet from the RJD chief.
Elections in Bihar are due later this year though the dates are yet to be announced. The JD-U and RJD have come together to take on the BJP in the assembly polls, being seen as the most crucial election for the NDA since its victory in the Lok Sabha polls last year. The Congress has said it will back the JD-U and RJD.