“Had Sensed…”: Nitish Kumar Party Leader On Why He Dumped Lalu Yadav

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar pre-empted attempts of RJD president Lalu Prasad to “humiliate” allies ahead of Lok Sabha polls by calling off the alliance, a senior JD(U) leader claimed on Wednesday.

Neeraj Kumar, MLC and chief spokesperson of the JD(U) made the claim referring to the RJD riding roughshod over the Congress.

“The Congress has been a dependable ally of the RJD, though the alliance has caused it to lose its own vote share over the years. The only time the Congress saw a rise in its vote share in recent times was in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls when we too were part of that alliance,” said the leader of the JD(U) headed by Nitish Kumar.

RJD president Lalu Prasad has unilaterally given party tickets to candidates for about a dozen seats in Bihar, leaving the Congress virtually blindsided and hoping against hope that the domineering ally will address its concerns.

Neeraj Kumar asked, “What type of alliance do the RJD and the Congress have that the former is giving away party tickets to people at will, paying scant regard to the interests of the latter?” Among the seats for which Mr Prasad has given tickets is Aurangabad, where Congress wanted to field former MP Nikhil Kumar.

Besides, the RJD is understood to have promised party ticket to JD(U) turncoat Bima Bharti from Purnea, a seat from which former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav is said to have got assurance of Congress ticket when he merged his Jan Adhikar Party last week.

Neeraj Kumar said, “It was not for nothing that our leader Nitish Kumar had been seeking early seat-sharing in the INDIA bloc. He had sensed the RJD’s plans to humiliate allies. So he taught them a lesson”.

The allusion was to Mr Kumar’s exit from the opposition alliance that robbed RJD of power and stripped Tejashwi Yadav, son and heir apparent of Lalu Prasad, of the deputy chief minister’s post.

Fishing in troubled waters, the JD(U) leader added: “It is now for the Congress to show that it has spine. Rahul Gandhi has undertaken a country-wide padayatra, becoming the first leader to have done so since the 1990s”.

He pointed out that in the last Lok Sabha polls, it was the Congress that managed to win a seat in Bihar while the RJD, despite seeming formidable, drew a blank.

“Hopefully, the RJD will be taught a lesson by its ally in the Lok Sabha polls. Even if that does not happen, the party will be taught a lesson by the people of Bihar,” the MLC said.

Meanwhile, leaders of the RJD and the Congress maintained that seat-sharing will be “announced in an amicable fashion”, pointing to the joint statement by Tejashwi Yadav and BPCC president Akhilesh Prasad Singh in Delhi on Tuesday when they had said the candidates will be formally declared upon their return to Patna.

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