Patna: Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for comments purported to be directed against him, RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav accused the PM of trying to "demean" the people of Bihar and "create a rift" between him and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
"Modi is trying to demean the people of Bihar. The people here know how much JD(U) and RJD have served them. He is lauding one of us and criticising another. This is a clear strategy to divide us. He is trying to create rift between Kumar and me," Prasad told media persons.
Prasad asserted "Modi's ploy to create a rift (between him and Kumar) will not succeed and the public will give a befitting reply".
The RJD chief's quick rebuff came soon after Modi targeted him in his speech while inaugurating several projects, including a new project for IIT Patna, at programme here in which Kumar was also present.
Modi had said "I agree with Kumar. Railway ministers after him did not work, which halted railway projects initiated during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government at the Centre."
The comment was taken as an attack on Prasad, as he had succeeded Kumar as Railways Minister in the UPA I government that followed. It was also widely seen as a criticism of the Congress-led government at the Centre then.
Kumar's JD(U), RJD, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are already in allaince to contest the state assembly polls, scheduled to be held in October-November this year.
Reacting to the prime minister's announcement that he will provide a special package to the state at the right time, Prasad said "Modi will not give any special package to Bihar.
We will take it. It is the right of our people.
"He promises so much for everyone every time he comes here, but nothing has been fulfilled so far," he said.
Prasad who has been demanding the release of caste census data, also pointed out that the Prime Minister did not speak anything regarding it.
He said a survey by a leading television channel has shown that 52 per cent respondents supported Kumar as the popular leader, making him more popular than Modi who could muster only 45 per cent.