Patna: Janata Dal (United) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari on Sunday sparked controversy by describing Gujarat Chief Narendra Modi as a ‘popular leader’.

“Narendra Modi is a popular leader,” he was quoted by several TV channels.

The comment drew flak from opposition BJP and RJD. When senior JD (U) leaders were contacted, they disapproved the statement saying that ‘it was Tiwari’s personal view’.

Later, Tiwari, while expressing anger over the entire episode said that his fight against Narendra Modi will continue. “My fight against communalism will continue. Only Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav are not entitled to fight against communalism, I am also having the same right to fight communal forces,” he said.

In an interview with a TV channel, when Tiwari was asked to comment on BJP vice president CP Thakur’s remark that Narendra Modi will fight Lok Sabha polls from Nalanda, the home turf of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he had said, “According to BJP, Modi is a popular leader. There are also reports that he will fight from Varanasi or Lucknow. Why is he willing to fight from outside the Gujarat? Is he losing ground in Gujarat?”

(JPN/Bureau)

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