The war of words between RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Congress escalated on Tuesday with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee accusing the Bihar strongman of using Congress as a “doormat” and doubting whether he will even become a minister after the general elections.
“Who will form government? BJP, NDA or the Third Front or Lalu? Leave alone forming the government, Lalu will find it difficult to become even a minister because he is with nobody (not in any major front),” Mukherjee told an election rally in Samastipur.
Mukherjee also recalled that NDA once was “ready” to dismiss Lalu’s government when he was Bihar Chief Minister and how no one except Congress supported him.
“But if he views Congress as a doormat then Congress will not agree to accept this,” he added.
Lalu quickly hit back saying, “ Who will form government without us? Time will tell who will form government, who will remain and who will leave. Let elections be over.”
Mukherjee’s salvo came barely hours after Lalu earlier said it could not be taken for granted that Manmohan Singh was the UPA government’s future prime minister giving a new twist to the prime ministerial race.
“UPA is a confederation of secular parties and does not belong only to the Congress. We will sit together (after the elections are over) to chalk out a common minimum programme and in consultation with all our partners select a leader who will be the prime minister,” Prasad said in Patna.