NEW DELHI -- Escalating his attack on Narendra Modi over his DNA remark, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is launching the "शब्दवापसी /TakeBackYourWords" campaign, which will involve 50,000 people from Bihar sending their DNA samples to the prime minister in September.
"Modi's DNA remark is an insult to Bihar and the people of Bihar. This issue will be decided in the people's court," Kumar said on Monday.
DNA पर मोदीजी का वक्तव्य बिहार और बिहार के लोगों का अपमान हैं.लोकतंत्र में जनता सर्वोपरी है, अब इस विषय का फैसला जनता की अदालत में होगा— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 10, 2015
शब्दवापसी के इस महाअभियान में कम से कम 50लाख बिहार के लोग हस्ताक्षर अभियान से जुड़ेंगे और DNA टेस्ट्स के लिए अपना सैंपल भी मोदीजी को भेजेंगे— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 10, 2015
Modi is leading the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for the upcoming elections in Bihar. During BJP's maiden rally in Muzaffarpur, last month, Modi made jibes about Kumar's "DNA," while criticising the Janata Dal (United) leader of having an arrogant attitude towards other politicians.
Last week, Kumar shot off a letter to Modi in which he asked the prime minister to take back his "DNA" remark.
"Your words have been taken as an insult by a large section of the people of the state and beyond," Kumar said in the letter."Most of us also feel that coming from you, the comment is rather unbecoming of the office you hold."
In a counter letter, the Bharatiya Janata Party said, "We want to humbly state, Bihar is not Nitish Kumar and Nitish Kumar is not Bihar."
In his campaign speech, Modi recalled how Kumar cancelled a dinner with BJP leaders after the party published ads which showed them holding hands in 2010, and then he talked about former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's explusion from the JD(U) in February.
"I didn't say anything but I was very hurt. But when Jitan Ram Manjhi was persecuted, then I became restless. He snatched the plate from the son of a poor tea seller. But when he took away everything from a mahadalit, then I thought something is wrong with his DNA," he said.
HuffPost India reported earlier that raising the "DNA" issue would be Kumar's next strategy to hit back at Modi in the election campaign.
Last week, the chief minister also hosted a Twitter chat to draw attention to his letter to the prime minister.
Kumar has also lashed at Modi for describing Bihar as a "BIMARU" (sick) state during his second campaign speech at Gaya on Sunday. BIMARU was a term coined to refer to the underdevelopment in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
"Modi's stubbornness to retract his DNA remark and then describe Bihar as sick and its people unlucky is inappropriate," he said. "I believe the people of Bihar will answer those who insult Bihar."
DNAके अपने वक्तव्य को वापिस न लेने की मोदीजी की हठधर्मिता और फिर कल गया रैली में बिहार को बीमारू और लोगों को दुर्भाग्यशाली बताना क्षोबनीय है— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 10, 2015
हमारा यह विश्वास है कि बिहार और बिहार की जनता को अपमानित करने वालों को यहाँ की जनता माकूल जवाब देगी— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 10, 2015