Patna: Prime Minister Narendera Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar - who are engaged in a bitter political tussle ahead of the coming assembly elections -- are unlikely to meet when the PM comes to visit Bodh Gaya on September 5.
PM Modi is coming to participate in the concluding session of a seminar and visit the Bodh Gaya temple. Sources in the two organising bodies -- the pro-BJP Vivekananda International Foundation, the Tokyo Foundation and the International Buddhist Confederation -- said an invitation has not been extended to Mr Kumar.
It would be Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind who will receive the Prime Minister at the Bodh Gaya airport and accompany him during his hour-long stay, said a member of the Vivekananda International Foundation.
Sources in the Bihar government said since the Prime Minister will not be attending any function in Patna, protocol did not require the Chief Minister -- one of his sharpest political critics -- to receive him or see him off.
The two leaders had met last on July 25 and shared stage during PM Modi's visit to Bihar for an official function. During their speeches they had exchanged polite jibes.
But within hours, the gloves came off as the Prime Minister launched the BJP campaign for the coming assembly elections in the state. Addressing a rally in Muzaffarpur, PM Modi tore into the Chief Minister, accusing him of hurting Bihar due to his "anger" at him and raising questions about Mr Kumar's "political DNA".
Mr Kumar in turn, took on the Prime Minister, saying it was an insult to the people of Bihar, with whom he shared his DNA.
The BJP takes on the combined forces of Mr Kumar's Janata Dal United, Lalu Prasad's RJD and the Congress in what is billed as the most crucial election since last year's Lok Sabha polls.