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Seven years after cancelling dinner, Nitish to host lunch for Modi

Abhay Kumar,DH News Service, Patna, Aug 24 2017, 14:10 IST
Much water has flown down in the last seven years when the rivalry between the two leaders saw some acrimonious war of words turning into more an ego clash. PTI file photo

Much water has flown down in the last seven years when the rivalry between the two leaders saw some acrimonious war of words turning into more an ego clash. PTI file photo

Around three hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi will land in Bihar on Saturday to take stock of the flood-ravaged areas in the State, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will host a lunch for the PM here at the CM’s official residence.

This will be in sharp contrast to the 2010 episode where Nitish not only cancelled a pre-scheduled dinner for the BJP leaders, including Modi, at his residence – 1, Aney Marg, but also returned the Rs 5 crore-cheque to Modi, who, then as a Gujarat CM, had offered to Nitish for Kosi flood relief fund.

Much water has flown down in the last seven years when the rivalry between the two leaders saw some acrimonious war of words turning into more an ego clash.

Keeping unpleasant past on the back-burner, the newbie allies Nitish and Modi, both regarded as vikas purush (development-oriented leader), will join hands to take stock of the flood situation on Saturday. Chances are Nitish may seek flood relief assistance from the same Modi whom he had put in an awkward situation in 2010.

As per the PM’s itinerary for August 26, Modi will land at Purnia airbase in the special Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft on Saturday at 11 am. After undertaking an aerial survey of flood-torn districts like Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar, Modi will fly down to Patna where he will be received by Nitish and Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.

The PM will then hold a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister Secretariat where ministers and officials of the Water Resources Department, Agriculture, Health, Road Construction and Rural Development will be present. Thereafter, Modi will have lunch at Nitish’s residence before leaving for New Delhi at 3 pm the same day.

WAR OF WORDS: PAST FORWARD

Modi (in 2015): There is Jungle Raj in Bihar.

Nitish: What happened in Gujarat in 2002? Was it Mangal Raj?

Modi (in 2015): There is something wrong in his DNA.

Nitish: I am son of a freedom fighter. I don’t need certificate from those who did not participate in the freedom struggle.

Modi (in 2014 & 2015): There is a BJP wave everywhere.

Nitish: There is no such wave. Only ‘blower’ is working.

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