The ruling Janta Dal (U) and opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have reacted sharply to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's reported remarks blaming "festering caste politics" in Bihar as the main reason of its backwardness.
Modi, during a public meeting in Rajkot, had reportedly said that Bihar, at one point of time, was a political and spiritual leader of the country, but it slipped into socio-economical backwardness ever since the casteist leadership took to centre stage, without taking names of individual politicians.
Rejecting Modi's perception of Bihar politics, JD(U) Spokesman and MLC Neeraj Kumar said that rapid strides made by the state in terms of economic development under chief minister Nitish Kumar's leadership since 2005 presented a different picture of the state, its people and polity.
"The state government has attained a consistently high growth rate - even better than Gujarat and is on course to become a developed state in due course of time," said Kumar.
The RJD alleged that Modi has no business to cast aspersion on others even as he was himself accused of unleashing terror on the religious minorities in Gujarat.
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser echoed Modi's views that the casteist leadership and caste-based polity in Bihar has dented the stocks of Bihar and that the latter was "right in his perception."
But for the Congress, all other political parties in Bihar have used and nurtured various caste groups for political and electoral benefits, he claimed.