The occasion may be a private event, but speculations are already rife whether Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, will come face-to-face on Sunday when Modi attends ex-Gujarat governor and BJP leader Kailashpati Mishra condolence meet in Patna.
Modi is scheduled to reach Bihar capital in the afternoon while his nemesis Kumar will be busy in his Adhikar rally. Mishra, who was state governor between May 2003 and July 2004, passed away at his Patna residence on Saturday after prolonged illness.
According to sources both in the BJP and state government, Modi will visit Mishra’s family and pay condolence to departed soul’s family and will head to Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh thereafter.
However, it will be his Patna visit that will attract the media attention as he will going to Bihar after Modi will definitely grab media attention as
“I have been informed from the chief minister’s office of Gujarat that Modi will arrive in Patna on Sunday afternoon,” said Giriraj Singh, Bihar state amimal husbandry minister and a BJP leader. He said, “Nitish Kumar’s Adhikar rally is also scheduled in Patna on Sunday morning. We will see whether Kumar and Modi meet at the funeral or condolence meet of Mishra.”
Relations between Modi and Kumar have been anything, but friendly over the recent years as the Bihar CM has maintained a safe distance from his Gujarat counterpart. Kumar has criticised Modi for the 2002 communal riots on various occasions, and is opposed to idea of Modi’s nomination as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014 parliamentary elections.
The relations dipped further when June 2010, advertisement appeared in Bihar’s local newspaper praising Modi government for allocating fund for the Kosi river flood in Bihar. The advertisement showing photograph of Modi shaking hand with Nitish irked the Bihar CM.
However, during meet over NCTC in New Delhi on May 5, both had shaken hands with each other.
Nitish Kumar also opposed Modi’s campaign in Bihar during 2009 parliamentary poll and 2010 assembly polls in Bihar. Meanwhile, JD(U) has also decided to fight Gujarat assembly polls in December and will put 50 candidates in fray.
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi confirmed arrival of Narendra Modi, BJP veteran L K Advani, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, party leader in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley and BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar. "These leaders would stay here for a brief period and return after paying condolence at Mishra's residence," Sushil Modi said.