Patna: With cancelling dinner for BJP leaders in 2010 now becoming a major issue in poll-bound Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today steered clear of the controversy passing the buck on senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
"I did not cancel the dinner in the name of Narendra Modi...I got trapped in 'chakkar' (influence) of Sushil Kumar Modi," Kumar said addressing a function of a private TV channel here.
"I was in the midst of 'Vishwas yatra' at that time when Sushil Kumar Modi asked him to host a dinner for BJP leaders during their national executive meeting in Patna in June 2010 and I agreed," he said recalling the event.
"A highly decorative pandal was put at One Anne Marg lawn (CM residence) which was unmatched in Patna. Food was also ready (but) then Sushil Modi suddenly said Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders would not come for dinner," he claimed.
Now the BJP leaders were "spreading lie over dinner episode," he said.
He said in a lighter vein that the episode incurred loss (financial) for JD(U) which had organised the dinner and asked the saffron party to now make up for the loss.
Wondering why the issue was raked up now, Kumar asked if the BJP was so upset over the episode why did not it withdrew support "from me at that time and raised the issue in 2010 October Assembly poll than raking it up in 2015."
In reply to a question that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also raked up the issue in his recent election meetings and even commenting Kumar could have slapped me instead of snatching the food plate from in front of me, Kumar said "it does not behove a PM to utter such things."
Sushil Modi and other BJP leaders have blamed Kumar for cancelling dinner due to his "ahankar" (arrogance) which was bruised by advertisement hailing Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, for donating Rs 5 crore towards Kosi flood victims.