Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's personal attack against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, claiming that he had "8-9 children" and no faith in his daughters, evoked angry response on Tuesday with commentators terming it "bitter and ugly".
Speaking at Mahuva in Vaishali district from where Tej Pratap Yadav, the elder son of Lalu, was elected to the state assembly in 2015, Nitish said, "They produce 8-9 children. What do I say? There is no faith in the daughters. The son was born after many daughters. And you are seeing. What kind of Bihar they want to build? This is the Bihar they want to build."
While Nitish did not name Lalu, his comments were seen in reference to the jailed RJD chief who has nine children including Tejashwi Yadav, who is challenging Nitish for the CM post.
Nitish's speech drew sharp reaction from opposition leaders, with Tejashwi Yadav saying that the chief minister "has insulted women and my mother's sentiments."
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In reference to Lalu Yadav at a rally, Nitish said these (Lalu-Rabri) are the leaders who have 8-9 children, including seven daughters. "But, they have no faith in their daughters and promoted sons only."
His remarks were apparently at the absence of Lalu's daughters from the campaign. In assembly elections, none of the seven daughters of Lalu-Rabri has been visible in the campaign. Misa Bharti, MP and eldest daughter, was active in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and as well as in the 2015 assembly elections.
Nitish also attacked Lalu’s family for “betraying” veteran leader and RJD vice-president, Raghuwansh Prasad Singh, even at the last stage of his hospital days.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Tejashwi Yadav said that the bad words used by Nitish Kumar against him are like "aashirwaad" (blessings) for him. "Even bad words used by Nitishji against me are like blessings to me. Nitishji is mentally and physically tired and that is why he can speak whatever he likes. I treat his words like a blessing. This time Bihar has decided to vote on the issues of employment and development," Yadav said in a tweet (roughly translated from Hindi).
Speaking to ANI, he said "By commenting on my family, Nitish Kumar is targeting PM Modi as he also has 6 siblings. Using such language, Nitish Kumar has insulted women & my mother's sentiments. They don't speak on main issues including inflation, corruption, unemployment etc."
Here is how Twitter reacted to Nitish's comments:
Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases -- October 28, November 3, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.