RJD president Lalu Prasad has kicked up a sort of political storm with his revelation in his upcoming book that his arch-rival in Bihar politics and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had sent feelers to him with a proposal to return to the Grand Alliance barely six months after joining the BJP camp, but he refused. The Lalu Prasad book titled “Gopalganj to Raisina: My Political Journey” is set to be released soon.
In his book, Prasad has said the CM tried to get his re-entry into the opposition Grand Alliance just six months after quitting it and forming his new government with the BJP. According to Prasad, the chief minister discussed the matter through his close confidant Prashant Kishor who met him no less than five times.
“Kishor seemed to indicate that if I were to assure in writing my party’s support to the JD-U, the latter would pull out of the BJP alliance and rejoin the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance),” Prasad has reportedly mentioned in his book that will be released soon.
“Though I was not bitter with Nitish, I had lost trust in him completely. Moreover, I was not sure how the people who had voted for the grand alliance in 2015, and the other parties that had united against the BJP all over the country, would react if I reacted Kishor’s offer,” adds the RJD chief.
Kishor, a poll strategist currently working as the vice-president in the ruling JD-U headed by Nitish Kumar, vehemently denied the claim. “The claims made by Laluji as reported are bogus. This is nothing but a poor attempt seeking relevance by a leader whose best days are behind him,” Kishor alleged. He claimed to have met Prasad several times before he joined the JD-U but said if “I were to tell what all was discussed then he would be quite embarrassed”.
The RJD, however, stood by the claims made by the party chief in his memoir. “Let aside Laluji, the chief minister even sent his emissary to me many times, gave offers and as a last resort exerted pressures through the Congress leaders but we were not interested in him,” said Tejashwi Yadav who is younger son of RJD chief Prasad.
He said whatever has been written in the book is “100 per cent correct”. “Prashant Kishor bina matlab kisi se milane jate hain kya?” Tejashwi asked.
If the claim is to be believed, the chief minister had launched this effort some six months after forming his new government with the BJP. Apparently, that was the time when the RJD chief was out on a 90-day provisional bail (May 2018) for treatment of various ailments and was making rounds of various hospitals, such as AIIMS in New Delhi and the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, to consult doctors. At that time, the local media had extensively carried several stories about how the chief minister had sent feelers to the RJD seeking reconciliation after losing three byelections in a row and the state saw a spate of communal violence during Ramnavami denting his secular image.
Kishor had reportedly met Prasad at AIIMS and also at the Asian Heart Institute besides his official residence in Patna, leading to wide speculations about his return to the Grand Alliance but Prasad family was totally averse to this idea. The entire story had come to light after Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav publicly showed “No entry notice” for the chief minister at his residence in July last year in a huge embarrassment to Kumar.
The printed notice read: “No Entry, Nitish Uncle”. “When I can’t allow his entry into my residence, how is it possible for him (Kumar) to get place in the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance)?” was how Tej Pratap had told the media at that time , holding “no entry” notice in his hand.