Lalu Remark Meant to Create JD(U)-Cong Rift
New Delhi: Political circles interpret RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s public support to JD(U) president Nitish Kumar’s call for an ‘anti-BJP/RSS national alliance’ as his crafty way of provoking the Congress leadership that Kumar has been assiduously cultivating to keep RJD in check. Prasad’s son and deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav’s subsequent remarks, “between Nitish Kumar and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, whosoever is able to defeat BJP will become the next prime minister,” too is seen in this light. On Thursday, Prasad’s move evoked the `desired response,’ when Bihar Congress president Ashok Chowdhary told ET that his party expected Kumar to play a supporting role to Rahul Gandhi-led Congress in the 2019 general elections. Responding to RJD leaders’ ‘desire’ to see Kumar as PM, Chowdhary, who is also the education minister in Kumar’s ministry said, “Congress supported Kumar to become the chief minister because the JD(U) was a bigger party in the state. Similarly, JD(U) is expected to support Congress, which has a pan- India presence to rally secular parties against the BJP in 2019 polls.” The AICC has been projecting Rahul Gandhi as the architect of Bihar's Grand Alliance that brought together Kumar and Prasad. “Nitshiji’s call for a national alliance against BJP has led to the misinterpretation that he was planning to form a national alliance to become PM candidate against the BJP in 2019 polls. That is not the case. Since the Grand Alliance in Bihar had defeated BJP in Bihar, Nitishji has given a call for the next stage. Since, the Congress is the biggest secular party, naturally the party under the leadership of Rahulji will lead like-minded parties against BJP. Though it will be for the Congress Working Committee to take a final call on who would be the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate, my personal wish is to see Rahulji leading the fight against BJP as our prime ministerial candidate,” Chowdhary said. “Nitishji’s support to Congress will further smoothen the path of Rahulji-led Congress forming the next government,” he added.
Bihar Youth Congress president Kumar Ashish chopped in by pointing to the failed experiments of National Front and United Front governments to add that it showed the pitfalls of smaller parties leading a coalition government at the Centre.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at a function last year