During acrimonious speeches in the Bihar assembly today ahead of Nitish Kumar's trust vote, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi thanked Lalu Yadav's RJD and the Congress, now in the opposition. It stumped many for a moment, until he completed his thought.
"I would like to thank Congress and RJD. If Tejashwi had resigned I would not have been here," said Mr Modi, who was yesterday sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister, a post previously held by Lalu Yadav's son.
Tejashwi Yadav's refusal to quit as number 2 in the state government despite corruption charges precipitated the end of the two-year ruling coalition as Nitish Kumar resigned on Wednesday, dumping Lalu Yadav's RJD and the Congress. He was sworn in again 14 hours later, this time with the BJP back by his side.
Mr Modi was also sworn in as Mr Kumar's Deputy for the third time, after four years.
"I am thankful to the RJD and congress for giving me a chance to speak in the assembly," said Mr Modi.
The mandate, he said, was not for corruption - a rebuttal to Tejashwi Yadav repeatedly accusing Nitish Kumar of betraying the mandate for the Mahagatbandhan or grand alliance by joining hands with the BJP.
"Was the mandate for making Mohammad Shahabuddin national general secretary of the RJD?" Mr Modi questioned, referring to a murder-accused party man of Lalu Yadav.
"The Chief Minister felt that corruption can't be fought in your company," he said in response to a 40-minute speech by Tejashwi, now leader of the opposition.
Mr Modi, the BJP's most senior leader in Bihar, led a campaign against Lalu Yadav and his family, furnishing reams of documents that he said were proof of huge corruption.
Initiating the discussion, Tejashwi hit out at Mr Kumar and Mr Modi and said: "Aapko Sharam Nahin Aayi (Aren't you ashamed of what you did?)"?