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Angry Nitish returns 'unutilised money' to Modi

By M I Khan
June 19, 2010 13:29 IST
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A week after threatened to return the "unutilised money" to Gujarat, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned Rs 5 crore, which was given by the Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi for Kosi flood relief in 2008 to the state, on Saturday.

Disaster Management Minister Divesh Chand Thakur told rediff.com over telephone that the Bihar government had returned the "unutilised money" to Gujarat.

"The state government has returned the Rs 5 crore to Gujarat government. There was nothing surprising in it as the government was working on it," Thaskur said.

On June 12, Nitish had threatened on the first day of the Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive meeting in Patna to return the amount to Modi after a Gujarat government's advertisement published in local newspapers boasted of its "liberal donation to Bihar during the 2008 Kosi floods".

He also cancelled a dinner organised for the top brass of the BJP to convey his disapproval about the advertisement featuring him with Modi.

Nitish had said that the Gujarat government's claim (on flood relief) was uncivilised and against Indian culture.

"Nobody claims of bestowing favours on those who face tragedy caused by natural calamities," he had said.

He said he did not know the exact amount contributed to the relief fund by Gujarat.

"I will go through the details and immediately return the money received from Modi which was lying unspent in the CM's relief fund," Nitish had then said.

He also took strong exception to the use of his photograph with Modi in another advertisement published in local dailies. Kumar even threatened to take legal action against those responsible for it.

The Janata Dal-United leader has always kept himself at a distance from Modi, due to the latter's alleged role in the communal carnage in Gujarat in 2002, and avoided sharing any public platform with Modi in Bihar.
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M I Khan in Patna
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