A Twitter war erupted Wednesday between RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav, serving sentences in fodder scam cases and lodged in a Ranchi hospital, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
The spat was triggered by a post on Mr Yadav's official Twitter handle, handled by his aides, wherein the RJD supremo had shared an article that appeared in a Hindi news portal with the title "Why is the BJP so scared of Lalu".
The article was shared with the remark: "Because I am not scared of the smear campaign, enticements, vindictiveness, harassments and blackmails (of the BJP). Because I am the most vocal opponent of their venomous politics based on whipping up hatred along the lines of religion and caste, which cares neither for the Constitution nor for humanity. Because I cannot compromise on principles, even if I am hanged."
Irked over the remarks, Mr Modi came out with the riposte : "For 30 years, Lalu has been involved in a false propaganda against BJP and Sangh Parivar. He has been using this strategy to get the votes of the minorities. So full of greed he is that his name figures in scam after scam, from fodder to hotel."
"Which principles does he talk about. Hundreds lost their lives in retributive violence that marked his rule and Bihar was witness to kidnapping for ransom becoming an industry. He did not feel like hanging himself before reneging on the principles of JP and Lohia and making compromises for the sake of his own vested interests," the deputy CM added.
Interestingly, Mr Modi and Mr Yadav had together taken part in the "JP Movement" of the 70s when the deputy CM was the general secretary of Patna University Students Union and Mr Yadav was its president. However, in mainstream politics both have remained staunchly opposed to each other.
Meanwhile, RJD spokesman and MLA Bhai Virendra accused the Nitish Kumar government of capitulating before the BJP's communal agenda by allowing RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to tour the state.
However, JD(U) spokesman and MLC Neeraj Kumar hit back quoting from a reported statement by Mr Yadav in 1989, when the Janata Dal was sharing power with the BJP, alleging that the RSS was being wrongly blamed for the Bhagalpur communal riots.
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