Amid a grim debate on the brain fever outbreak in Bihar, the state assembly Monday witnessed a brief exchange of sarcasm and repartee between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
Siddiqui, who was leading the opposition charge in the wake of the absence of Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, rose to offer a brief comment on Kumar's speech while intervening in a debate on an adjournment motion brought on the issue.
"I want to dedicate to the chief minister a couplet of late poet Kalim Aziz, who hailed from his home Nalanda district and was known to be close to him," said Siddiqui, Kumar's former cabinet colleague.
"Daaman pe koi chheent na khanjar pe koi daagh, tum qatl karo ho ki qaramat karo ho (there is neither a stain on your attire nor on your dagger. I wonder whether you have committed a murder or performed magic), Siddiqui said.
Kumar, known for his splendid gift of repartee, rose and pointed towards Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh who was among those who had moved the motion.
"Sadanand babu may take offence. The verse was composed with his netri (a woman leader) in mind," the chief minister quipped in an apparent reference to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The Congress has been an old ally of the RJD in Bihar.
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