Nitish Kumar, who was clicked shaking hands with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the National Counter Terrorism Centre conference, on Sunday came under attack from Rashtraiya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who said the Bihar chief minister stands "thoroughly exposed" over his "secular facade".
"Kumar's secular credentials have come under scrutiny once again after he shook hands with the Gujarat chief minister and exchanged pleasantries with him in full media glare at the conference in New Delhi," Prasad said while speaking to reporters in Patna.
Kumar tried to downplay the comment made by Yadav.
"He has said this in sarcasm, now being sarcastic is all that he can do," Kumar said in Delhi when pressed by reporters for a response to Prasad's comment.
"The chief minister stands thoroughly exposed as far as his secular image is concerned as he has always sought to maintain a distance with Modi in Bihar, but did not mind interacting with him at places outside the state," Prasad added.
Kumar's deliberations with Modi have proved it beyond doubt that his "facade" of being secular was aimed at keeping the minorities in good humour in order to get their votes for staying in power, the RJD supremo alleged.
All the protests by Kumar about the publication of his photograph with Modi during the 2010 BJP national executive was aimed at fooling the minorities with an eye on their votes in the assembly polls, Prasad alleged.
The BJP was more vocal in its response to Prasad's comments.
BJP vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the handshake between Gujarat and Bihar chief ministers was a basic courtesy as BJP and Janata Dal - United are allies in Bihar.
"They are not enemies. It was basic courtesy to shake hands. BJP and JD-U are tested and trusted allies and Modi is one of the senior most leaders of the BJP and Nitish is a top leader of the JD-U. Before criticising, Prasad should understand this with an open mind," Naqvi said.
Hitting out at Prasad, Naqvi said that neither Kumar nor Modi needed his certificate or permission to carry out their developmental or political activities.
"Both are icons of good governance and development in their respective states. May be good governance and development does not come in Prasad's framework or political thought. That is why such type of informal meetings form part of his political criticism," Naqvi said.