Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Nitish Kumar meets Rahul Gandhi amid speculations of rift in 'mahagathbandhan'

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi meeting the family members of slain Motihari trader Indrajit Jaiswal on Wednesday Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi meeting the family members of slain Motihari trader Indrajit Jaiswal on Wednesday
Nellie Chapman | 23 July, 2017, 03:16

While keeping the RJD guessing over the possible action if deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav does not resign, Bihar chief minister and JD (United) president Nitish Kumar on Saturday clarified to Rahul Gandhi that the Congress leadership must stop defending "tainted" Lalu Prasad family, as per sources.

Kumar had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, besides which, the corruption charges against Yadav have also affected the grand alliance in Bihar. Questions are being raised on the image of JD (U).

"The allegations that have been leveled on Tejashwi has nothing to do with the government but is related to the party therefore, JD (U) wants answers from Tejashwi", said JD (U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.

"Crisis is nearly over, now the grand alliance is on track", former MP Shivanand Tiwari said on Wednesday after meeting RJD chief Lalu Prasad at his official residence.

In the evening, Nitish attended Modi's farewell dinner for Mukherjee, with the JD (U) citing their "special relationship".

"Nitish Kumar is wasting time meeting Rahul Gandhi for reportedly asking Tejashwi Yadav to tender resignation", senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said".

He said Nitish Kumar made the sacrifice by reducing the number of seats contested by the JD (U) in the 2015 Assembly elections to 101 from 149 in the earlier poll.

Kumar will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Saturday night, at a dinner hosted for outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, the report added. It was also "natural" for Nitish to attend Kovind's oath-taking as Nitish had backed his candidature, Tyagi said.

On its part, the BJP has maintained a studied silence and state party leaders have been directed not to attack Nitish Kumar. Later, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul had personally talked to Nitish. Congress has apparently been donning the mediator role since the tussle between Grand Alliance partners JD (U) and Lalu Prasad's RJD started after the CBI raids on Lalu premises on July 7.

Asserting that the Deputy Chief Minister has been named in the FIR hence he should come clean on the accusations, Mandal reiterated that the JD (U) can not compromise on zero tolerance against corruption and the clean image of Nitish Kumar.