Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, stung by Governor Satya Pal Malik's criticism over the Muzaffarpur child rapes, today hit out at critics, urging them to focus on positive things too and declaring that no matter what they say, he would keep on doing his job.
The Chief Minister has handed the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation in face of a barrage of criticism spearheaded by opposition leaders like Tejashwi Yadav, who held a huge meeting in Delhi yesterday to target him.
Also, the last week's letter from the Governor -- coped to Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and the high court chief justice -- had stunned the party. There are suspicions that it is a reaction to Mr Kumar's pointed criticism of several union ministers of the BJP over what he saw as religious polarisation.
Today, at a government function in Patna, Mr Kumar let the bitterness show.
"We are not going to let anyone go scot-free. Have never made such compromises. But even then if you want to curse us, go ahead. What kind of people are you using to curse us?" he said.
Slamming critics with "dragging out two of three negative things" he said he was "requesting them to focus on the positive" - reflection of the party's view that the instigators also meant to hurt Mr Kumar's image as "sushashan babu (Mr Good Governance)".
"A person who does anything wrong, will go to jail. Anyone who tries to save them will also not be spared. They will also go to jail," declared the Chief Minister, whose government was initially accused of negligence and then collusion.
The rape and torture of more than 30 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzzapur, which became public in June -- has shaken the country. The charge-sheet in the case details a network of police, politicians, administration and criminals behind the racket that has been going on for around four years.
Brajesh Thakur, the man who ran the home, was the owner of a local daily, "Pratah Kamal" and well-known in the corridors of power in Patna.