Nitish cancels dinner hosted for BJP top brass over advertisment controversy

      Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday cancelled a dinner planned in honour of the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party on the sidelines of the latter's ongoing National Executive meet. Kumar is believed to have been upset over a controversial click showcasing Gujarat chief minister Narender Modi holding hand with him at a stage during floods two years ago. The JD(U) leader Kumar, who intends to woo maximum Muslim votes, has always projected himself as a secular leader away from his coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party, largely viewed as a Hindutva party. Earlier, Kumar lashed out at Modi's government for its advertisement on Friday on its "liberal donation" to Bihar during the 2008 Kosi floods, saying it was "uncivilised" to talk about help given during times of tragedy. He also took strong exception to the use of his photograph with that of Modi in another advertisement published in local dailies and said he would take legal action against those responsible for it. "The Gujarat government's claim (on flood relief) is uncivilised and against Indian culture. Nobody claims of bestowing favours on those who face tragedy caused by natural calamities," Kumar, who heads the JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar, told media persons here. Conceding that the advertisement has caused "a big embarrassment" to hime, Kumar said he or his office was not consulted on the use of his photograph with that of Modi in the advertisement issued by some private individuals.

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