Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumarwikimedia commons

Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar has entered the tug of war between Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress over the phrase 'toilets first, temples later' when he said that the slogan was coined by his state administration six years ago.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reportedly said that people who have no toilets will not be permitted to enter local body elections in his state.

He also claimed that he had pioneered the phrase 'toilets first, temples later' years ago. "Officials popularised the concept among the people, but some people are now talking about toilet first and temple later," Nitish told PTI, without naming BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

It was Gujarat CM Narendra Modi who had championed that toilets be built before temples during a rally last month, following which members of the BJP and affiliated right wing organisations attacked him.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh too had squabbled over the copyright of the slogan saying he had made the remark months before Modi did. "He's got enlightenment finally, but 22 years too late. Had he had the same realization earlier India would have been spared the trauma of the Babri Masjid tragedy and subsequent events," the congress minister had said.

While addressing a function on World Sanitation Day in Patna on Tuesday, Nitish also said that the Panchayati Raj Act had to be amended to ensure that more toilets are built in Bihar and to increase public awareness on sanitation.

He assured that every household in Bihar will have a toilet by 2020.