Alliance or even a merger, Lalu leaves it to Nitish

Rajat Kain

lalu_prasadWith much celebrated ‘Janata Parivar’ not coming under one single roof and speculations of walls wearing down even before the ‘structure’ is laid in full, one of the members of united ‘Parivar’ has sought the other to take a call.

Such is the scenario in Bihar, where the incumbent Jatana Dal (United) under CM Nitish Kumar is banking a comeback on the back of fully merged ‘janata parivar’ and calculative alliance with other ‘like-minded’ parties. But the last few weeks has seen nothing of the either. The speculations have soared about an eventual split between the RJD-JD (U) and the alliance not taking shape.

To quell all those, RJD supremo and the man who ran Bihar government for nearly 15 years has sought an initiative from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“I telephoned Nitish Kumar one week ago and said days are passing and that we should now sit together quickly and decide about alliance, elections, seats and other such issues”, he said after holding a meeting with JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav.

Prasad, an astute player in the regional politics of Bihar and once a heavyweight politician at the national level knows how much even a stray rumour can hurt any political prospects.

“Various kinds of talks doing the round in the market about us are making the environment unpleasant,” Prasad told the press when asked about the ‘unconfirmed’ reports of chill between him and Nitish Kumar.

Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar couldn’t come as as he is recuperating from an eye ailment, Sharad Yadav met him at his residence to talk about the issues.

“I am now saying we should hurry up over the mega-alliance. JD (U) should talk to Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also about their demands and wishes,” Lalu added.

But he dropped the biggest signals of warming up to JD (U) and especially to Nitish Kumar, when he said he and his party is even ready to merge with the JD (U) for the better results in Bihar polls.

“If you want merger between Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and JD (U) then I am ready. Let us let us sit together today itself and finalise it”.

“All issues including that of leadership and chief ministerial candidate will be sorted out once there is finality about the alliance,” Prasad added.

Lalu Prasad’s sudden keenness on holding talks for alliance and even a merger came soon after Congress party spelled its stand of allying with the JD (U)-led pre-poll arrangement.

Congress is currently supporting JD (U) government in Bihar and several of its state leaders, including Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chaudhary, have repeatedly imposed faith in Kumar’s leadership and expressed willingness to contest the coming polls with him provided they are given a respectable treatment in seat sharing.

Underlining that the opponents are keenly watching the situation in their camp, RJD supremo reiterated the need to to ensure that there is no doubt or confusion among the people about the grand alliance of ‘Janata Parivar’.

“We are rising against the BJP. The entire country is hopeful about it. The talk of Janata Parivar merger originated from here and the talk of mega-alliance is also emanating from here itself,” he said.

Sounding a note of caution, he also urged the leaders from both the RJD and JD(U) to avoid giving statements about alliance in public as it creates confusion and doubt.

(With inputs from PTI)