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Patna : CM and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad on November 29, 2017, exchanged barbs questioning each other’s patriotism. It started with  tweet from Nitish apparently taking a dig at Lalu in a tweet on November 29 morning in the wake of the Centre downgrading the latter’s ‘Z+’ security cover to ‘Z’ category. The RJD leader’s elder son and party MLS from Mahua in Vaishali district Tej Pratap Yadav had threatened to ‘skin’ PM Narendra Modi over the ‘conspiracy’.

“Jaan, maal aur mall ki chinta sabse badi desh bhakti hai (concern about one’s own life and property is the biggest example of patriotism),” Nitish said in the tweet, which was liked by 4,220 persons within 7 hours and re-tweeted by 1,000 persons. While Jaan related to Lalu’s security concerns, maal and mall related to his and his family members’ alleged benami assets and a Mall which was coming up on Bailey Road, Patna.

Lalu launched a sharp counter-attack against Nitish by posting a series of messages on Twitter. “Bihar ke ‘thesis chor’ desh bhakt mukhya mantri bataye ki unhone 20 hazaar rupaiya cheque me diya, RTGS kiya athwa cash me ada kiya (the patriotic Bihar CM, accused of stealing a thesis, should tell whether he paid the penalty of Rs 20,000 by cheque, RTGS or cash),” Lalu said.

Lalu’s comment was in reference to a Delhi High Court judgment passed earlier this year, which had dismissed Nitish’s plea to delete his name as a defendant from a lawsuit on copyright violation filed by a former JNU scholar and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on him. The former JNU student had alleged that a book published by Patna based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), through its Member Secretary Shaibal Gupta, and endorsed by Nitish, was a plagiarised version of his research work.

Bihar me desh ka eklauta aisa swayam ghoshit desh bhakt mukhya mantri hain jis par jaghanya hatya ka sangeen aarop hain. (Bihar has the only self-proclaimed patriotic chief minister who is facing a murder charge) ,” Lalu said. He was referring to Nitish’s name figuring in a murder case of a Congress leader ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in Barh constituency in 1991.

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