- Some tweet all day without understanding any issue, Nitish Kumar said
- The remark hints he closely follows his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav
- Mr Yadav served as Nitish Kumar's deputy until JDU-RJD fell apart
Nitish Kumar, his favourite punching bag, delivered a stinging comeback to the many attacks and gauntlets that the young opposition leader throws at him. Without naming the opposition leader, Mr Kumar told a gathering on Thursday that there are some who just "tweet, tweet and tweet".
"They love to keep tweeting all through the day but have no understanding of any issue," Mr Kumar said.
Nitish Kumar was among the early Bihar leaders to clamber on to the social media bandwagon back in 2010 but then, he gave up. Mr Kumar did use the platform again during and after the 2015 assembly elections, often to respond to attacks from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to launch his own. Now his Twitter handle with its 4 million followers mostly tweets pictures of his official meetings.
People who know the chief minister say Nitish Kumar has no time for the online platforms and believes that conventional campaigns work better for him.
Lalu Yadav and his son, however, have believed that what did not work for Nitish Kumar, will work for them. Tejashwi Yadav handled his father's Twitter and Facebook account in the initial years before getting his own account.
Lalu Yadav's handle now has 4.3 million followers on Twitter. Tejashwi is far behind with 1.11 million followers but is perceived to effectively using the social media platform.
Nitish Kumar and BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi may be his usual targets but the opposition leader also uses Twitter to create a buzz. Like when he tweeted photos of his lunch at a Delhi restaurant with Congress' Rahul Gandhi, along with the comment that he felt "appreciated and grateful".
The Bihar Chief Minister suggested he also may have to share part of the blame.
"Perhaps, I am gullible," he added, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Tejashwi Yadav was 26 when he contested his first election from Raghopur seat when the Rashtriya Janata dal that his father had founded, was in a grand alliance with Nitish Kumar's party Janata Dal United and the Congress.
The RJD won the biggest chunk of seats but let Nitish Kumar, the alliance's presumptive chief minister, take charge.
Tejashwi Yadav, who is seen as Lalu Yadav's political heir, became Nitish Kumar's deputy in the government. Last year, Nitish Kumar had cited corruption cases filed against his deputy as his reason to dump his partners.
Many see the chief minister's remarks about Tejashwi Yadav's tweets as an indication that he does closely follow his former deputy and does not like what he sees.
Mr Kumar also faulted Tejashwi Yadav for switching his stand on prohibition from the time they were partners. "When I introduced prohibition, he used to say our votes has increased... Now he is criticising it," Mr Kumar said.
"If you think that bootlegging is going on, then why don't you get them arrested?" he said, calling Tejashwi Yadav's criticism that the poor were getting arrested "nonsense". Remember that illicit alcohol doesn't kill rich but only the poor, he said.