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Nitish paints lotus at book fair, triggers a war of words between BJP-RJD

Patna: Speculations are rife after Nitish Kumar was seen painting a lotus -- party symbol of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) -- at a local event. The seemingly innocuous act immediately set tongues wagging over the Bihar Chief Minister's political intentions.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not lose any time in taking a swing at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Yadav, asserting that by painting the lotus flower, which is a BJP symbol, Nitish was painting his 'political intentions' and sending an indirect message to his long time friend Lalu.

"He has to show to show his political colour frequently. He keeps showing Lalu that he is completely independent," senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh told ANI here.

However, the RJD was quick in responding and asserted that the lotus flower was not an exclusive entity of the BJP's

"Does the Lotus belong solely to the BJP? In that case the lantern (RJD symbol) hangs in so many houses across the nation. What should be inferred from that? All I can say is that if someone is getting happy with such a small thing, then so be it. Let them have their fun," Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Lalu's son Tejaswi Yadav told the media here.

At the Patna Book Fair on Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was seen adding saffron colour to a lotus drawn by an artist.

It immediately sparked speculations of being proof to the growing friendship between Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and putting alliance partner RJD in check.

Eyebrows had risen earlier when all Opposition parties, including the JD(U)'s alliance partners Congress and RJD, lashed out against demonetisation, but Kumar chose to praise the Prime Minister and support the move.

Kumar said the move to withdraw high-value currencies would help in curbing corruption and flush out black money.

Following Kumar's endorsement, Prime Minister Modi praised the Bihar Chief Minister for imposing prohibition in the state and the arrangements put in place for celebrating the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

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