“If JD(U) leader is secular in the least, he should sever ties with BJP”

Exploiting the simmering confusion in the ranks of the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party on the first day of the BJP national executive meet here, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday warned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi “not to convert Bihar into another Gujarat.”

Referring to advertisements in local newspapers showing Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and Mr. Modi together at a Ludhiana rally, Mr. Prasad criticised Mr. Kumar for granting a “communally tainted” leader entry into Bihar.

The RJD chief came down heavily on the Gujarat Chief Minister while commenting on the full-page advertisements, which sang paeans to Mr. Modi's concern for Muslim women and his solidarity with Bihar flood victims.

“The photos, in reality, were of some Muslim women from Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district. And as for his [Mr. Modi's] contribution to flood relief, he should remember that it was the Railways that contributed Rs.43 crore to the flood victims,” Mr. Prasad said.

Making the most of the tensions between the BJP and its “stronger” alliance partner, Mr. Prasad said: “If Mr. Kumar is honest and secular in the least, then he should sever his ties with the BJP at once.”

Referring to Mr. Kumar's statement that his permission had not been taken for the Ludhiana rally advertisement, Mr. Prasad said if the JD (U) was so concerned, he should have immediately taken legal action.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kumar's response to the advertisements kicked up a storm in the JD(U)-BJP alliance in the State. He said it was “uncivilised” to issue such advertisements and that Gujarat's contribution during the floods was “not a favour to Bihar,” which could combat disasters on its own.