Patna : The BJP on Saturday declined to accept the invitation for annual “Chuda-Dahi” (flattened rice and curd) lunch on the occasion of Makar Sankranti extended by RJD president Lalu Prasad at his 10, Circular Road residence, but accepted the invitation to participate in the lunch hosted by Nitish Kumar who is also JDU president at 36, Hardinge Road residence of state party chief Bashistha Narain Singh.
Invitation to BJP by JDU infuriated the Congress which is a partner in the Grand Alliance led by Nitish Kumar. Bihar Congress president Ashok Chaudhury who is also education minister in Nitish cabinet regretted the invitation to BJP and said he has expressed his inability to join the lunch. “We do not know why JDU invited BJP after two years. What was the compulsion before the JDU to invite BJP, only JDU leaders can tell, Chaudhury said.”
Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and senior BJP leader said, “We have been invited by JDU president. We will join the lunch.”
He said in the past chief minister Nitish Kumar withdrew invitation for dinner at last minute (referring to cancellation of dinner to BJP national executive committee members in 2013 following display of hoardings with Nitish-Modi photos).
RJD president Lalu Prasad reacting on the absence of BJP leaders at his lunch party said, “BJP leaders fear me. I had personally invited Sushil Kumar Modi, but he too did not come.”
BJP on its part hosted Makar Sankranti lunch at Bailey Road residence of its national secretary, Rajnish Kumar. All senior BJP leaders attended it, but none of the JDU or RJD leaders was present. “They were not invited,” claimed Sanjay Mayukh, vice-president of the Bihar BJP.
Lalu Prasad’s lunch was joined by the chief minister Nitish Kumar, his cabinet colleagues and legislators. RJD leaders claimed over 10,000 joined the lunch and another 10,000 have been invited at lunch on Sunday. It will be exclusively for the Muslims.