Avoid controversial remarks, Congress tells Bihar secular alliance

A day after JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ruffled feathers with his 'snake-sandalwood' remark in the poll-bound state, Congress Thursday said leaders of the secular alliance should avoid making statements that hurt sentiments of any of its partner.

PTI| Updated: Jul 23, 2015, 15:08 PM IST

Patna: A day after JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ruffled feathers with his 'snake-sandalwood' remark in the poll-bound state, Congress Thursday said leaders of the secular alliance should avoid making statements that hurt sentiments of any of its partner.

"Rahiman dhaaga prem ka, mat toro chatkaay, toote to phir na jure, jure gaanth par jaay (The thin thread of love should not be broken as even if it is rejoined later, there will be knot)," Bihar Congress President Ashok Choudhary said using a popular couplet of legendary poet Rahim.

"Alliance is a sensitive issue hence everybody shall be cautious that any of his/her statement do not hurt ego of partner parties leaders," Choudhary told PTI while reacting on the controversy triggered by Kumar likening himself to "chandan" (sandalwood), which remains unaffected despite "snakes" wrapping themselves around it.

"The fight (Bihar poll) is a bigger one. Such things create confusion among workers of partner parties at the grassroot level," he said.

The chief minister's remark in response to a question had yesterday created a flutter in Bihar as it was seen directed against his ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

However, Kumar later clarified that he was referring to BJP as the snake, which despite remaining with him for over seven years in Bihar in the NDA ministry could not succeed in diverting him from his sole agenda of development in the state.

Choudhary in an apparent reference to comments of RJD leaders, including former Union minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh and some other second-rung leaders in both the parties offering reaction, said such things rather inflate the issue and provide opportunity to opposition to hit us.

"The alliance partners should take the 'positives' out of each other and overcome the 'negatives'," the PCC chief said.

Together with JD(U), RJD and NCP, the Congress is an important constituent of the secular alliance which would take on resurgent BJP-led NDA in the Bihar election due later this year.