Nitish Kumar to launch signature drive over PM’s DNA remark


Patna: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to comply with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s request to take back his “DNA” remark, the Janata Dal-United leader on Monday announced he would launch a ‘Shabdwapsi’ drive to protest the remark.  Nitish_Kumar_(cropped)

The drive, meant to protest the prime minister’s July 25 remark about Nitish Kumar’s DNA, is scheduled to commence on Tuesday (August 11) with sit-ins across Bihar. It will collect signatures of 50 lakh people and send their blood samples to Modi for a DNA test.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said the party would stage sit-ins across the state on the issue on Tuesday and hold a ‘Swabhiman’ rally on Aug 29 here.

Nitish Kumar recently tweeted: “In this shabdwapsi (take back your words) campaign, at least 50 lakh people of Bihar will join a signature campaign and send their samples to Modiji for a DNA test”.

The participants will offer samples of their DNA and sign a petition saying that the prime minister’s comments crossed the line.

“PM Modi hasn’t retracted his derogatory remarks on our DNA, we’ll take the battle to people now,” Nitish Kumar said.

Alok said the rally would be jointly addressed by Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.

“It will kickstart the joint rally campaign by the grand alliance of JD-U, RJD, Congress and National Congress Party to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance ahead of next assembly polls,” he said.

Modi, who addressed a rally in Gaya on Sunday, did not respond to Nitish Kumar’s request to consider taking back comments on his DNA. “Neither had he mentioned it nor did he counter it. He simply ignored it,” a senior BJP leader said.

Last week, in a letter released on Twitter, Nitish Kumar said: “Most of us feel that these statements, beyond questioning my own descent, have disrespected the lineage of our people and have denigrated the great legacy of the state.”

Addressing a public meeting in Muzaffarpur district on July 25, Modi said: “There seems to be some problem in his (Nitish Kumar) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy, you give respect even to your political rivals.”