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‘Stay within limits’: JD(U) warns RLSP’s Kushwaha to stop targeting Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar and Upendra Kushwaha are at loggerheads in Bihar, with both taking potshots and personal jibes against each other.

patna Updated: Nov 06, 2018 08:33 IST
Nitish Kumar,JDU,Upendra Kushwaha
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and several others had claimed that they had sent strands of hair to New Delhi for DNA sampling.(PTI)

Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha’s demand that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar make his political DNA public has stirred a new row in the state’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Leaders of Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), have warned Kushwaha to maintain decorum and stay within his “limits”.

Kushwaha’s comment was a throwback to July 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at an election rally in Bihar, questioned the political DNA of Kumar, who had parted ways with the NDA two years earlier. Kumar fought and won the 2015 Bihar assembly elections in an alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress before returning to the NDA fold again in 2017.

“Kushwaha has made an irrelevant, prejudiced statement which is undignified and uncalled for. He is now into a habit of making provocative statements. JD (U) disapproves such kind of politics. Our party never makes statements which are preconceived and prejudiced. He should refrain from such acts,” said JD (U) state president Bashistha Narain Singh. Several other JD (U) leaders also cautioned Kushwaha.

In the 2015 state assembly campaign, JD (U) seized on Modi’s remark, calling it an insult to the people of Bihar to win over voters.

Kumar and other politicians, in a riposte to Modi, claimed to have sent strands of hair to New Delhi for DNA analysis.

On Saturday, Kumar responded sternly to a question from reporters in Patna about Kushwaha’s claim that the chief minister does not want to continue after 2020.

“Baatchit ka sthar itna neeche mat giraeeye (don’t allow the level of discourse to stoop so low),” Kumar retorted.

Kushwaha, besides raking up the political DNA status of Kumar, also questioned how Luv and Kush, the twin sons of warrior-god Lord Ram, can be both high- and low-born at the same time.

Nitish Kumar’s caste, the Kurmis, trace their ancestry to Luv and members of Kushwaha’s caste claim themselves to be descendents of Kush.

“I am hurt by your remark. If I am a ‘neech’ (low), it is not for you to decide. You must explain the reason for your insinuation,” said Kushwaha.

Unperturbed by the JD (U)’s note of caution to its supreme leader, the RLSP seems prepared to take the alliance partner head-on. “Nitish Kumar is upset with the growing stature of Kushwaha,” said party’s spokesperson Madhav Anand. “The JD (U) has lost its base,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, is hopeful that peace will prevail between its two alliance partners.

“Both JD (U) and the RLSP will soon resolve the issues,” said BJP MLA Nitin Navin.

The relationship between the two NDA allies has been less than cordial of late. Kushwaha has targeted the Nitish Kumar government on the law-and-order situation and the education scenario in Bihar.

The RJD added fuel to fire by backing Kushwaha’s demand for the report on Nitish Kumar’s political DNA test to be made public.

“Bihar’s people have the right to know outcome of the DNA tests,” said RJD MLA Bhai Birendra, referring to mass samples sent to New Delhi by Kumar’s party after the DNA jibe by PM Modi.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 18:09 IST