In an embarrassment to BJP, Chief Minister and ally JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar on Saturday termed as "uncivilised" Gujarat government's claim through newspaper advertisements that it donated liberally to Bihar after the 2008 Kosi floods.
Kumar also took strong exception to the use of his photograph with that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in another advertisement published in local dailies and said he would take legal action against those responsible for it.
"The Gujarat government's claim (on flood relief) is uncivilised and against Indian culture. Nobody claims of bestowing favours on those who face tragedy caused by natural calamities," Kumar, who heads the JD(U)- BJP government in Bihar, told reporters in Patna.
An agitated JD(U) leader said he would return the "unutilised money" to the Modi Government. "I do not know the exact amount contributed to the Relief Fund by Gujarat. I will go through the details and immediately return the money received from Modi which was lying unspent in the CM Relief account," he said.
The advertisement was issued by the Gujarat Government.
Kumar said he or his office was not consulted on the use of his photograph with that of Modi in the advertisement issued by some private individuals. "It has caused a great embarrassment to me," Kumar said in reply to a question.
"I have no knowledge about the agency advertising my photograph along with that of Modi as published in newspapers today. Nor was my office consulted...I will explore and take all possible legal action against those responsible for this unethical and illegal act," the chief minister said.
Kumar, however, said that such developments would not impact the alliance between the two parties.
His comments have come at a time when the parties are preparing for the assembly elections in the state due later this year. Kumar has kept Modi at an arm's length apparently to woo Muslim voters.
He had specifically asked the BJP not to use Modi, who had received flak for the 2002 Gujarat riots, in its campaign in the state during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
A section of BJP leadership felt the advertisements were brought out by those opposed to the JD(U)-BJP alliance.