A day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched an attack on him, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad hit back by calling the JD(U) leader a "Paltu-Ram" (turncoat) and accusing him of being greedy for power. Prasad also alleged that it was Nitish who had "pleaded with him" for another term in the office.
The RJD supremo said that Bihar CM is a master of the volte-face, flitting from one camp to another when it served his interest. "Nitish is paltu-ram... He used to slam Narendra Modi till a few days back. Now he is showering praises on him and even proclaimed that no one can challenge Modi in 2019... I've lost count of the number times he has changed his stance and sides for the sake of power," Prasad told media persons at a presser at his house in Patna on Tuesday.
"Keep shouting slogans in favour of Narendra Modi ... PM material (Nitish Kumar) has surrendered before him but we will have another face against him (Modi) in 2019," Lalu Prasad told journalists here.
He also claimed that Kumar's defection from the Grand Alliance was pre-planned. "Tejashwi Yadav was just an excuse. Even if Tejashwi had tendered his resignation, Nitish Kumar would have joined forces with the BJP... The match was fixed between him (Kumar) and the BJP to form a government together," he said.
Prasad said that the Bihar CM was nervous by the appreciation his son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi had garnered for his work. "Tejashwi ke kaam ko dekha, sarahna hone lagi toh inka kaan khada hua," (When he saw Tejashwi's work and the appreciation it was getting, he became insecure) RJD chief said, adding that an insecure JD(U) president wanted to target his sons.
Prasad also accused Kumar of undermining senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, who, he said, had contributed a lot to making him a "big leader". Prasad said he has offered Yadav to "come out from there (the JD-U) and join hands with secular parties to protect the country from communal forces". He, however, clairified that Yadav has not been requested to join the RJD but be part of a country-wide movement against communal forces.
"You forgot your own status in the past. You not only lost twice in two assembly election but were soundly defeated in the Lok Sabha election too," the RJD chief jibed in the response of Kumar's charge that the Prasad must not forget the 2010 election results when RJD could score only 22 seats in the 243 members Bihar Assembly.