The Bihar Post

All not well between chief minister Nitish Kumar, BJP in Bihar?

It appears BJP is not cooperating Nitiosh Kumar



PATNA: Is everything OK between chief minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP, his new ally whom he joined to dump his old friend Lalu Prasad? At least, three recent developments point towards the serious trouble in the ruling National Democratic Alliance in Bihar.

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What, though, has come as a serious embarrassment to the Bihar chief minister is Jharkhand government’s move to quickly refute his allegations made towards jailed RJD chief Prasad who is currently undergoing treatment in a Ranchi-based government hospital under judicial custody. Prasad has been in jail since December 2017 in Jharkhand which is ruled by the BJP.

Kumar in his interview given to a private news channel yesterday had alleged that the jailed RJD chief had been in touch with the outside world through cell phone.

“It’s well known that Laluji keeps telephoning people from jail, rules may be damned,” the chief minister had said in his interview, excerpts of which were telecast yesterday.

Much to everyone surprise, the Jharkhand government came out with possibly the quickest rebuttal of Kumar’s allegations made towards the RJD president.

“Whosoever has given such information to the chief minister has tried to mislead him. This is totally wrong and misleading. There is no mobile phone with Lalu Prasad,” inspector general of police (Jail), Jharkhand, Birendra Bhushan told newsmen today.

In his support, he cited a recent raid conducted at Prasad’s jail ward which found no cell phone from his possession or any staff.

“We have already conveyed it to Lalu Prasad that the special privilege provided to him will be withdrawn if he is found violating the jail manual,” the jail IG explained, adding “he (Lalu Prasad) himself is cooperating”.

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The chief minister has further been accused by senior BJP leader and former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain of “taking” his Lok Sabha seat.

Hussain had been contesting from eastern Bihar’s Bhagalpur seat for the past three terms but lost his seat to his rival RJD candidate last time. This time, however, his seat has gone to the JD-U’s share under the seat-sharing arrangement after which an anguished BJP leader blamed the ally for grabbing his seat.

“I will not be contesting from Bhagalpur this time. As part of NDA alliance in Bihar, Nitish Kumar’s JD-U has taken my seat along with seats of 6 sitting MPs of BJP. However, I will work hard for the party in the Lok Sabha elections,” was how Hussain expressed his frustration through tweeter.

The chief minister reacted bitterly to such remarks, describing it in bad taste and asking the BJP to issue a clarification.

“Instead of blaming me, he should have asked from his party as to why he was not given ticket from this seat,” Kumar asked. He asserted he didn’t seek this seat from the BJP; rather it was the BJP which offered him.

“When did I ask for any seat? If I insisted on any one seat in Bihar, that was Darbhanga,” the chief minister told the news channel.

Yet another development which indicates their “knotty” relations is the BJP’s refusal to enter into alliance with the JD-U outside Bihar. The JD-U is currently contesting elections on five LS seats in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Lakshadweep.

Of the five seats the JD-U is contesting outside Bihar, it has fielded candidates on three seats in UP which include Robertsganj (Mirzapur), Kanpur Dehat and Pilibhit.

Despite the JD-U contesting on couple of seats, the BJP didn’t show any interest in entering into alliance with its Bihar partner. Likewise, the BJP has not spared any seat to the JD-U in Jharkhand while it gave away one seat to a lesser-known All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

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