Amid ‘Differences’ With BJP, Nitish Inquires About Lalu’s Health

The 70-year-old RJD patriarch is currently undergoing treatment at the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.

2 min read
A year back, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ended the grand alliance in the state with RJD chief Lalu Prasad. 

On one hand, Nitish Kumar has been publicly criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of late. On the other, as reported by ANI, the Bihar Chief Minister on Tuesday, 26 June called Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to inquire about his health.

The 70-year-old RJD patriarch is currently undergoing treatment at the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.

Differences Between JD(U) and BJP?

There has been a perceptible rift between the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) over seat sharing for the 2019 elections in Bihar.

Leaders from the two parties have been at daggers drawn over who is going to lead the NDA in Bihar where, last year, Nitish had walked away from the Mahagathbandhan to join hands with his erstwhile partner, the BJP.

On 4 June, the JD(U) had insisted that Kumar was the leader of the alliance and his party is the "senior partner" in the state, indicating that it should get the lion's share.

In response, the BJP had said that while it agreed Kumar was the face of the NDA in Bihar, the Lok Sabha elections will be fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thus staking claim to a major share in the seats.

Months ago, when violence broke out after bypolls in Bihar, Kumar had said that he won’t make "any compromises" with those creating the social divide.

"We will not make any compromise with corruption nor will we make any compromise with those who are out to create the social rift," The Telegraph had quoted him as saying.

In the same vein, the Bihar Chief Minister had also stated that the JD(U) contested, unsuccessfully, the Jehanabad bypoll under pressure from the BJP after its "strong appeal".

'Doors Closed for Nitish,’ Says Tejashwi

Claiming that Nitish Kumar was feeling "uncomfortable" in the BJP-led NDA, Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday, 26 June, said "the door is closed" for his return to the grand alliance.

Tejashwi Yadav also rubbished suggestions by the leaders of the RJD’s ally Congress that Kumar’s return to the “mahagathbandhan” could be considered if he chose to snap ties with the BJP, PTI reported.

"They are not authorised to take a decision in this regard," Tejashwi told reporters.

"After Kumar ditched us last year and rejoined the NDA, he tried to sell the idea to the people of Bihar that he had the welfare of the state in mind and that with the NDA in power both at the Centre and in the state, Bihar would be equipped with a double engine that will speed up its development. Nothing of that sort has happened," PTI quoted Tejashwi as saying.

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