Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday raked up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'DNA' barb against him and hit out at NDA leaders for jumping in favour of the PM and making statements on the his behalf.
"I had made a request to the Prime Minister to take back DNA comments as it does not suit a man holding high constitutional post of Prime Minister making such a comment," Kumar said, addressing a function to lay foundation stone for installation of a statue of former Congress Chief Minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha.
"Had he not been sitting on PM post I would not have taken notice of the comment. But, since many people of Bihar feel hurt by his DNA comment against me, I thought it right to urge Modi to withdraw it," Kumar said.
Launching a scathing attack on NDA leaders for rallying around PM and making statements on his behalf, Kumar said, "I had made a request to the PM and not to a BJP or NDA leader."
Kumar reiterated he is son of a freedom fighter who taught him good 'sanskar' (culture) and inculcated in him high values of tolerance, communal harmony and fight injustice.
"In my childhood I saw my father not allowing any visitor to leave home without offering food. I have grown up with such values," he said.
"But, since their (NDA leaders) forefathers had nothing to do with the freedom movement, how can they have such high social values?" Kumar said in a hard-hitting reaction.
"Till yesterday when I was with them they used to say that I am a PM material, but the day I severed ties with BJP they see only faults in me," the CM said in an apparent dig at senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and others.
Signalling that 'Bihari pride' would be one of the major
themes of his electoral campaign, Kumar said, "I carry high values of freedom movement which is in my DNA and this is also the DNA of the people of Bihar."
"I had merely urged the PM to take back the words and did not ask him to apologise or express regret," Kumar said to justify his writing a letter to the PM which was yesterday released on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
"I had ignored the DNA comment uttered at Muzaffarpur rally on July 25 but many people told me that they felt hurt by the remark coming from a person sitting on post of PM and thought to make a request to withdraw it for sake of such citizens," he said.
"Many BJP leaders said I resigned as CM as I did not want to face Narendra Modi as PM. But, following tradition I received the PM during his Patna visit on July 25 and also went to Patna Airport to see him off even after his Muzaffarpur rally DNA barb on me," he said, adding, "This is my culture which is in my DNA."
NDA leaders had yesterday written an open letter to people of the state as a sharp retort to Kumar's letter to PM.
Their four-page letter asserted that Modi's remark was on Kumar's political DNA and not on DNA of Bihar which, they said, Kumar "tried to portray mischievously".
"Bihar is not Nitish and Nitish is not Bihar," they said and demanded an apology from Kumar for "twisting" the prime minister's words at Muzaffarpur rally on July 25.