Patna, June 14 :
Bihar former chief minister Nitish Kumar Saturday sought RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s support for two JD-U candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election.
“I have appealed to the RJD, Congress and CPI to support the two JD-U candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election to defeat the BJP. I have also talked to Lalu Prasad over this matter,” Nitish Kumar said in a press conference at the party’s office here.
It is probably the first time in last two decades that Nitish Kumar has publicly admitted that he sought support from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief after he and Lalu Prasad parted ways in 1994.
Nitish Kumar said he has requested Lalu to support the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U)candidates as the RJD extended its support last month to the government of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.
“I am hopeful that the RJD, the Congress and the CPI would understand the BJP’s design and support the JD-U candidates in the by-election,” he said.
The former chief minister also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of conspiring to destabilize Manjhi’s government in the state. “The BJP has been trying hard to destabilize Manjhi’s government for the mid-term assembly election because it is over-upbeat after its victory in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
Nitish Kumar said the BJP was behind fielding two Independent candidates to ensure the defeat of the JD-U candidates. “Name of the two Independent candidates was finalized at the house of a senior BJP leader here.”
Earlier this week, state JD-U president Vashsisht Narain Singh said the RJD should support the party to defeat the game plan of anti-secular forces. “The RJD has been constantly fighting against communal forces and trying to stop the BJP. If it supports the JD-U in the by-election, we will welcome it,” he said.
Senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddqui said only Lalu Prasad can take a final decision on this issue.
The JD-U faces tough task to ensure that its candidates – Pavan Verma and Ghulam Rasool Balyavi – win the by-election amid some of its rebel legislators announced to support two Independent candidates, Sabir Ali and Anil Sharma.
A group of rebel JD-U legislators, who claimed to have the support of over two dozen party legislators, is giving sleepless nights to the JD-U leaders.
BJP has yet to announce its official stand to support the two Independent candidates fielded by rebel JD-U legislators. It is likely to make its stand clear only next week.