Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had spoken out at the first opportunity that he got. That it did not befit a union minister to reach out to men arrested for spreading communal discord, claim they were innocent and run down the government that his party is part of. But the chief minister figured the message hadn't reached home.
So when he sat down with the BJP president Amit Shah for a short private meeting after dinner recently, the Janata Dal United chief is said to have been pretty blunt as he sought the BJP chief's intervention.
Just days before their dinner, Union Minister Giriraj Singh had headed to Bihar's Nawada jail where some Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists had been arrested for rioting. The minister insisted that the men arrested were innocent and called it "very saddening that the government feels that there will be communal harmony only if they suppress Hindus".
A riled Mr Kumar criticised the union minister in public, calling his attempt to vitiate the harmony as "entirely acceptable" but state BJP leaders, quickly came to the minister's defence.
The chief minister referred to the public spat that followed and underlined that he detested attempts by some leaders to polarise society for electoral gains. It wasn't his kind of politics and did not make sense either since the governments run by the two partners at the centre and the state had performed well,
Mr Kumar's point was that an electoral discourse around religious identities underscores the fact that the government did not have enough achievements under its belt, a BJP leader said.
He declined to elaborate on Mr Shah's reaction to the chief minister's SOS against Giriraj Singh. Or if the union minister, who is known to give provocative speeches, had been advised to lay low.
Another BJP leader suggested that while nobody supports violence, it was unfair of Nitish Kumar to ask leaders from his ally to stop catering to their constituents. "He perhaps needs to understand the political compulsions of its partners too," he said.
But Nitish Kumar's concern also stems from perceptions that his support base among the minorities and the many dalits could lean towards Lalu Yadav-Congress combine.
He had just been served a reminder by the electorate in a bunch of by-election defeats that suggests he needs to work on them.
It was at a meeting last month that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had, in a rare outburst, his supporters among Muslims to spell out one instance where he had compromised their interests.