Pictures of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and slogans hailing him sparked clashes between the two main ruling alliance partners in Bihar once again.
BJP workers carrying Modi’s photographs fought with activists of the Janata Dal (United) in Patna on Monday.
State BJP general secretary Mangal Pandey said workers of the two parties clashed at the place where JD(U) MP Monazir Hasan made “disparaging remarks” about Modi while being interviewed by a TV news channel. Hasan objected to Modi campaigning for the BJP in the assembly elections in the state this year.
“After Hasan’s remark, BJP and JD(U) workers pushed each other. The JD(U) MP left the scene, sensing that tempers were running high,” Pandey said.“Modi is our leader and we are free to carry his photograph anywhere we want.”
Hasan later told HT, “This may be my personal opinion but I honestly feel that the time has come for the JD(U) to sever relations with the BJP.”
Hasan said the slogan “Narendra Modi zindabad” during the Bharat Bandh was meaningless as Nitish Kumar has in the past four-and-a-half years been trying to take everyone along with him — Hindus, Muslims, Dalits, Mahadalits and others.
In early June, advertisements in Bihar newspapers flaunting the Gujarat government’s munificence towards the 2008 Bihar flood relief victims had sparked tensions in the alliance, with state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returning the Rs 5 crore aid to the Gujarat government.