Lalu, Nitish share dais after two decades, ask BSP, SP to do same

Hajipur (Bihar): Forgetting 20 years of political rivalry after Lok Sabha poll debacle, RJD President Lalu Prasad and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar today came on a platform together and accused the BJP government of “dividing” society on communal lines and failing to fullfill promises of checking price rise and generating employment.

Prasad and Kumar, who hugged each other on the dais, addressed a joint election rally at Jamalpur village, 10km from Hajipur town in Vaishali district, about 25 km from Patna, to drum up support for JD(U) candidate Rajendra Rai in the bypoll on Hajipur seat.

Terming his joining hands with Kumar as “home coming” of the two, Prasad appealed to Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to similarly bury the hatchet and join hands to defeat BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

The joint rally of Lalu and Nitish kicked off the byelection campaign of secular alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress for 10 assembly seats that would go to vote on August 21.

The appearance of Prasad and Kumar, who had parted ways in 1994, on the same dais was cheered by people and supporters of the three alliance parties.

There was no big leader from Congress at the meeting and the party was represented by its district unit President Sunil Kumar Singh.

Prasad and Kumar, who had parted company in 1994 when Kumar walked out of Janata Dal to form his own Samata Party and succeeded in ousting Prasad from power after aligning with BJP, justified their coming together again.

“We have joined hands not for the sake of power but to save the society and the country which is under threat from forces out to create division on communal lines in the society,” Nitish Kumar said addressing the rally.

Prasad said they have come together for the sake of social justice which is threatened by BJP which came to power by “feeding false promises to people”.

Prasad said if the vote per centage of RJD, JD(U) and
Congress are taken together, it would come to 45 per cent, which is much more than that of BJP which got over 29 per cent vote in Bihar in parliamentary poll.

Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Chief Minister after J (U) was decimated in the poll, said “it’s for the first time in the history of electoral politics that a party has gained majority on its own in parliamentary election by receiving a “small” vote percentage of 30 per cent.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal