Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “litti chokha“ snack at a craft fest in Delhi on Wednesday is feeding a political slugfest in Bihar, where polls are due later this year. The BJP, which is part of Bihar’s ruling coalition, called PM Modi’s gesture an endorsement for farmers and labourers, something that the opposition RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and his brother Tej Pratap Yadav won’t digest.
PM Modi had the Bihar favourite – stuffed sattu balls with mashed potato relish – during a visit to the “Hunar Haat” crafts fair in Delhi and tweeted: “Had tasty Litti Chokha for lunch along with a hot cup of tea… #HunarHaat.”
Tejashwi Yadav, RJD MLA and younger son of jailed former Chief Minister and party chief Lalu Yadav, reacted to PM Modi’s litti-chokha appreciation tweet with a sarcastic reminder.
Thank you respected PM for liking famous Bihari delicacy!
Since Bihar CM can’t ask, I would like to draw your kind attention towards Bihar’s legitimate share pending since quite long:
❗Funds of special package
❗Flood relief fund
❗Funds of “Ayushman Bharat” https://t.co/Bs3wIstE2L
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) February 19, 2020
His older brother Tej Pratap Yadav, given to dramatics and cosplay, went one step further and was filmed by a news channel preparing and having “sattu”, another Bihar staple.
Tej Pratap, also an MLA and former state minister, also tweeted in Bhojpuri: “You can eat litti chokha but Bihar will never forget your betrayal.”
Senior BJP leader and Bihar’s deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi tweeted that PM Modi’s meal had given many in Bihar a “stomach ache”. He called the PM’s meal a “coincidence” on a day his government was debating on farmers’ welfare.
“It was a happy coincidence that the day the Bihar government was communicating with the farmers in Patna, it was discussing ways to double the income of the farmers and was making some decisions to fulfill the dream of bringing Bihari cuisine to every Indian plate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi that day was relishing litti chokha. PM has not just raised respect for this dish but also for farmers and labourers,” tweeted Sushil Modi in Hindi.
The BJP is contesting the Bihar election in an alliance with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, which partnered with Lalu Yadav and the Congress in the previous election but dumped them in 2017.