Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is really caught in a critical situation now. Even as he called up his arch-rival, ailing Lalu Prasad, admitted in a hospital in Mumbai to enquire about his health triggering fresh speculations about his possible “ghar wapsi” in the Opposition Grand Alliance, the RJD claimed to have shut the door on the former.
The talks of Kumar’s possible “home coming” to the Grand Alliance which he quit last July suddenly gained momentum after the chief minister talked to his arch-rival last evening over phone after a long time.
Prasad who was sentenced to jail in three fodder scam cases has been ailing for the last four months, but the Bihar chief minister found time only yesterday to enquire about his well being. It’s the timing of phone call which has led to tongues wagging.
The telephonic conversation between the two leaders comes amid murmurs of differences cropping up between two key NDA partners, the BJP and the JD-U, over the issue of seat-sharing.
The JD-U led by Kumar has been pressing for having lion’s share of Bihar’s total 40 LokSabha seats which has been outright rejected by the BJP.
The BJP’s logic is that the NDA had won 31 seats in the last 2014 LS polls whereas the JD-U which contested it alone was able to win only two seats. “There is no question of sparing our sitting seats for the JD-U,” a senior BJP leader has announced. All these developments have led to speculations about the chief minister making fresh bids to establish new friendship with the RJD but the latter has rejected any such possibility. “The door is closed for his (Kumar’s) return to the grand alliance,” Tejashwi told newsmen yesterday adding the people of Bihar wouldn’t forgive the RJD anymore if it committed another “blunder” by allying with the JD-U.
Tejashwi who served as the deputy chief minister in the previous grand alliance government also rubbished suggestion by the Congress that Kumar’s return to the mahagatbandhan could be considered if he chose to snap ties with the BJP. “The RJD will snap alliance with the Congress if the latter tried to induct Kumar into the grand alliance,” Tejashwi, younger son of Lalu Prasad has told the local media.
The JD-U reacted bitterly to such remarks by Tejashwi. “It doesn’t require the permission of a ‘mohalla’ (street) leader for Nitish Kumar to seek entry into the grand alliance,” JD-U general secretary told a local media on Wednesday while rejecting any possibility of the JDU turning to the grand alliance.
“Who is Tejashwi to make such statements? What’s his authority?” asked Tyagi, describing Prasad’s son as “uncivilised”.