Narendra Modi today sharpened his attack on Nitish Kumar, saying the JD(U) leader's "arrogance" and "ambition" to become Prime Minister drove him to split from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and compared the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in Gujarat and Bihar to claim he practised "true" secularism.
The Congress-RJD alliance was also targeted by the BJP prime ministerial candidate who called it a "bhrasht-bandhan" (corrupt alliance) and said even cows and buffaloes are afraid of it as it may deprive them of their food, a reference to Lalu Prasad's conviction in fodder scam.
Flanked by leaders of new partners Lokjanshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, Modi also lashed out at the Third Front, of which Kumar is one of the prime movers, calling it "a toli (group) of ex-Prime Ministers and more than a dozen PM hopefuls who wake up at the sound of elections and go to sleep for the remaining period".
The BJP leader chose the recent comments from Kumar that he had more experience than others to be the PM to attack him.
"What was the BJP-JD(U) alliance broken? Some said it was his (Kumar) habit to stab in the back.... We came to know of it four days back. The dream to become PM was not letting him sleep. His arrogance is higher than Mount Everest. He says nobody is as good a PM candidate as him," he told an election rally, his third in Bihar, at the Rangabhumi maidan here.
Modi quoted from Sachar Committee's report to highlight the better socio-economic conditions of Muslims in Gujarat than Bihar.
He said only 24 per cent urban Muslims in Gujarat were poor compared to 45 per cent in Bihar and the figure was seven percent for rural Muslims in his state against 38 per cent in Bihar. He quoted literacy, health and development figures from the report to drive home his point.
"Everybody is doing vote bank politics in the name of Muslims. Dust has been thrown in your (Muslims) eyes in the name of secularism. I want to expose this lie.... We respect and honour diversity. The secularism of Gujarat is true," he said.
On the demand for special package of Bihar, he said his government would give this and anything else for the welfare of Bihar.
Modi, however, demanded that Kumar should announce first that he will not refuse any package offered to Bihar by