New Delhi: Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday hit back at JD(U) as the war of words between the former and its Bihar alliance partner BJP, over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s handling of the recent Patna floods, took a new turn.

Giriraj, who has been in the eye of the storm for his criticism of the Bihar Chief Minister’s ‘inept’ handling of the situation, tweeted: “The Durga Puja festivities have commenced from today. On behalf of the NDA, I beg for forgiveness from those who have not been able to organise pandals and fairs due to floods in their respective areas.”

The war of words between the two parties began after the Union Animal Husbandry Minister, while referring to the Chief Minister in Darbhanga on Friday, said that if a leader can accept praise, he should accept his share of blame too. The remark triggered a plethora of responses from various JD(U) spokespersons, who lashed out at the Union Minister, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, to take note of his comments.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, too, has criticised Nitish, who, he said on Sunday, should take responsibility and resign.

The strain in JD(U)-BJP ties comes just a year before Bihar is scheduled to go to polls. On Sunday, the Bihar Chief Minister was re-elected, unopposed, as the president of his party, amid praise from Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, who is from the BJP.

Over 70 people have lost their lives and several cases of dengue have been reported due to floods, which were triggered by torrential rains, in Patna.