The Bihar Post

Cracks in Bihar alliance? Nitish decides to skip Sonia meet over Presidential polls

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PATNA: In a move indicating all is not well within the ruling Grand Alliance, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has politely turned down an invite from the Congress party to attend a meeting over Presidential candidate.

However, RJD chief Lalu Prasad has consented to attend the meet to be held tomorrow in New Delhi.

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The Grand Alliance which is headed by chief minister Kumar comprises the RJD, the JD-U and the Congress. The trio has been in power in Bihar since November 2015.

As per a report in the Gulf News, Kumar wants second term for President Pranab Mukherjee but many of the opposition leaders, including his own ally Prasad who is the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, are not in favour of his idea

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Reports quoting local media said a senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel called up Kumar on Tuesday and requested him to attend the meet but he said he would be unavailable for the meet. Instead, he assured to send his colleague Sharad Yadav to the meet, media reports said.

“Nothing otherwise should be read into his decision. There is just no politics in it. In fact, the chief minister right now is very busy in his official assignments and hence has decided to stay away from the meeting,” a JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar was quoted as saying in the Gulf News.

Kumar is known for taking an entirely different stand away from both his allies. Earlier he had backed the ‘surgical strike’ and ‘demonetisation drive’ of the Narendra Modi government although both the Congress and RJD opposed it.

Likewise, during the last 2012 Presidential elections, Kumar had backed UPA candidate Mukherjee against PA Sangma who was supported by BJP.

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