The threat of having Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate appears to have driven Bihar’s political parties to pray, at an Islamic congregation in Araria.
All except the JD(U), that is.
Over the weekend, as the JD(U) demanded a “secular” NDA prime ministerial candidate, leaders from the RJD, LJP, Congress and even the BJP flocked to the Tablighi Ijtema, the three-day international Islamic congregation that’s taking place in Araria.
The congregation at Hariyabara Rahmatnagar was a closed-door affair. But the private nature of the gathering did not deter anyone. Asked if he had been invited, RJD chief Lalu Prasad declared he was there on ‘Allah’s command’.
Prasad, in fact, was the first off the block, going to the meet on Sunday along with former union minister Mohammad Taslimuddin. After offering prayers, he said he felt “a great sense of peace”.
The sense of peace was well-founded. As a party leader pointed out, “Laluji landed at the congregation around the time Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was attacking Modi in Delhi to keep off the communal tag.”
The rest of the parties lost no time in climbing the bandwagon.
On Monday, former union minister and LJP (Lok Janshakti Party) leader Ram Vilas Paswan, Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary and BJP MP Syed Shahnawaz Hussain followed suit.
Apparently, it was a spiritual journey for all of them.
“I have come here to seek (Allah’s) blessings,” Choudhary said. Paswan said he was there to “purely to join Muslim brothers in offering prayers”.
And the BJP? After the prayer, Hussain declared the BJP-JD(U) tie-up was intact.