In growing animosity after the break-up of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of “betrayal” for personal gains and alleged that the “match was fixed” between him and BJP to form a government together.
A combative Prasad hit back, and even made personal comments against Kumar, who in a blistering attack against the RJD chief on Monday said he had no option but to walk out of the alliance as he did not want to “compromise with corruption”.
“Tejashwi was just an excuse ... Match was fixed between him and BJP to form a government together,” Prasad told reporters at the 10, Circular Road official residence of his wife Rabri Devi, an MLC.
Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu's son and former deputy chief minister, who is now the leader of the opposition, was present.
“Even if Tejaswi had tendered his resignation he (Kumar) would have the JD(U) leader would have gone ahead with his plan to split the alliance.”
Accusing Kumar of being an “opportunist” politician, the RJD chief called him “paltu Ram” (turncoat). “Everybody knows that in your (Nitish’s) political career you took help of so many people and deserted many.”
“Say truthfully, isn't it a fact that you (Kumar) had come to my house with folded hands to join forces for the 2015 Bihar poll and pleaded that now we have grown old so give me (Kumar) one term ... But after he saw Tejashwi doing good work, he tried to make him a sacrificial goat to have several terms as CM,” he said.
Barring Tejashwi, the rest failed to deliver in the coalition government, Prasad claimed. Nitish Kumar had resigned on July 26 after Tejashwi did not come clean on accusations of graft and refused to quit. After dumping the Grand Alliance, he formed a coalition government with the BJP a few hours later, saying it was "in the interest of Bihar.”
On Kumar's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would face little challenge in the 2019 general elections, Prasad ridiculed him, saying: "Keep chanting the name of Narendra Modi ... PM material (Nitish Kumar) has surrendered before him but we will give another face against him in 2019." Continuing his tirade against Kumar, the RJD supremo called him a "lost case" for joining hands with BJP again.
"Despite carrying their (BJP) baggage or a saffron robe on your shoulder you (Kumar) can be given a farewell by them (BJP) anytime."
He accused Kumar of "conspiring" with the BJP to get a case instituted against him in connection with the 'land for hotels' deal relating to the period when the RJD chief was railway minister under UPA 1.
"Is a raid on the house of the deputy chief minister (Tejashwi) possible without the consent of the CM?" Prasad accused Kumar of being "dishonest" to the Grand Alliance since its inception. "Giving 40 seats to Congress in the Bihar assembly polls leaving 101 seats each for JD(U) and RJD was his strategy to join hands with the Congress at some point of time after dumping us from the government." Prasad also accused the chief minister of "undermining" senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav who, he said, contributed a lot to making Kumar a "big leader".
The RJD leader 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, clarified that Yadav has not been requested to join the RJD but be part of a country-wide movement against communal forces.
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