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BJP-JD-U continue sparring over DNA comment

The Janata Dal-United and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday played out another round of trying to score political points over each other by interpreting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘DNA’ comment in their own parlance.

Taking a swipe at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is running a ‘DNA campaign’ against Modi’s comment which he claimed hurt the self-respect of the people of Bihar, the BJP said the JD-U leader’s DNA was affected by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad.

The BJP also alleged that the Bihar chief minister was following the path of confrontation as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been doing.

Addressing a public meeting in Muzaffarpur on July 25, Modi had said: “There seems to be some problem in his (Nitish Kumar’s) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy, you give respect even to your political rivals.”

Union minister and BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy told the media at the party headquarters in Delhi on Thursday: “Nitish Kumar’s arrogance is speaking. His attitude and behaviour has changed. It seems his DNA has been affected by Lalu Prasad’s DNA.”

“Nitish Kumar is speaking in a similar manner in which Lalu Prasad used to speak with the people of Bihar. His behaviour shows the effect of Lalu’s DNA on him,” he said.

Rudy said it was unfortunate that Nitish Kumar ran his government like former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad’s ‘jungle raj’. “He has become a soldier of Lalu’s jungle raj.”

He said the day Nitish Kumar joined Lalu Prasad, he lost his political credibility and people will not allow them to bring what he called “Jungle raj part 2”.

Rudy also dubbed Kejriwal “quarrelsome” and said Nitish Kumar was following him.

“The people of Delhi are regretting their decision to elect Kejriwal as their chief minister. The people are experiencing a quarrelsome chief minister, who sometimes quarrels with the centre and sometimes with the lieutenant governor,” Rudy said.

Asking the Bihar chief minister to give an account of his five-year rule, Rudy accused him of dividing the people in the name of religion and caste.

“It was Nitish Kumar who coined the concept of Mahadalit, extreme backward, and divided the people of Bihar into castes. People of Bihar want development and will reject the politics of caste,” he said.

Rudy also slammed Nitish Kumar for threatening government workers who were raising their voices for permanent jobs during a function in Samastipur.

He said the Samajwadi Party’s decision to part away from the Janata Parivar reflects unrest in the opposition camp over the BJP’s growing support among the masses in Bihar.

Meanwhile in Patna, protesting against Modi’s DNA remark, Bihar’s ruling JD-U decided to send one lakh hair and nail samples to the Prime Minister’s Office every day beginning Thursday.

“We will send one lakh hair and nail samples of party leaders, workers and supporters starting September 3 to the PMO,” JD-U leader N.K. Arya said.

He said five million samples would be sent by the JD-U till October 15.

“We have already collected nearly one million hair and nail samples of people,” Arya said. “We have given a target to party leaders, including legislators, MPs and others to collect samples for DNA test from their respective constituencies across the state.”

The JD-U launched a “shabdwapasi” (take back words) campaign to put pressure on the prime minister to take back his remark and began a drive to collect signatures.