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Despite ‘rift’ talk, Nitish yes to Lalu’s rally on BJP

Published : May 20, 2017, 12:42 am IST
Updated : May 20, 2017, 2:04 am IST

Accepts Lalu’s invite to attend mega rally against BJP.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: AP)
 Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: Amidst speculation that all is not well between the allies JD(U) and RJD, Bihar chief minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar seems to have decided to be sticking to coalition dharma for now as he decided to attend the RJD’s mega rally — “BJP bhagao, desh bachao” on August 27.

Sources said that RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has been reeling under a series of income-tax raids on his properties in Delhi and Bihar, had invited the Bihar chief minister and he has accepted his invitation.

The Congress, the third ally in Bihar, as well as Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee have already accepted Mr Prasad’s invitation to attend the rally.

The RJD has also been holding parleys with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yada, BSP chief Mayawati and AAP supreme Arvind Kejriwal to attend the rally. So far they have not confirmed their participation.

Speculation was rife over the future of the JD(U)-RJD alliance in Bihar after Mr Prasad, in a tweet after the I-T raids, had congratulated Nitish Kumar for getting new alliance partners.

Mr Kumar has refused to conduct any probe over the I-T raids. On Tuesday, when asked about the raids, he said, “If they (the Centre) have the documents regarding the alleged scam, they should take legal recourse... This is not an issue that falls in the domain of the state government.”

It is evident that despite corruption charges and I-T raids on the premises linked to Mr Yadav and his family members, the Opposition intends to “rally around him”.

As the raids were being conducted on Tuesday, Ms Banerjee expressed solidarity with the beleaguered RJD chief and tweeted, “Laluji we accept your invitation to be there on August 27.” The tweet was in response to Mr Yadav’s tweet on Sunday in which he accused the BJP of “conspiring” against him.

With the Modi juggernaut seemingly unstoppable, the Opposition parties led by the Congress have been trying to come under one umbrella for the 2019 general elections. At this juncture, given the political scenario, BJP seemed to be all set to return to power in Gujarat and could give Congress a run for its money in Karnataka. While Gujarat Assembly elections will be held by the end of this year, Karnataka will go to polls early next year. Mr Kumar has been at the forefront of stitching together such an alliance to field a consensus Presidential candidate from the Opposition side.

Tags: nitish kumar, mamata banerjee, akhilesh yadav, mayawati
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi