As the JD (U)-BJP stand off over Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s ‘prime ministerial bid’ headed for denouement, two of Bihar’s top leaders were invoking god.
On the concluding day of his ‘sewa yatra’ to Katihar district of north-eastern Bihar Friday, chief minister Nitish Kumar offered ‘chadar’ at Rahmanpur Takiya Sharif at Barsoi in Katihar, an area with a strong Muslim presence.
He also offered prayers at the nearby Gorakhdham temple in Azamnagar, an ancient shrine reputed to fulfill wishes of those who offer prayers to its presiding deity, Shiva.
Local JD (U) sources claimed Kumar scored an immediate success after his invocation of the divine. He apparently secured the support of Balrampur independent MLA Dulal Chand Goswami.
“During a meeting with the CM, Goswami, who was once a BJP MLA but won the 2010 assembly poll as an independent, has promised to back Kumar in the event of the BJP’s exit from the government”, said a JD (U) leader.
This, he said, was ironic considering Goswami had defeated a JD (U) candidate in the 2010 assembly poll, after the BJP conceded the Balrampur seat to Kumar’s party in a seat-sharing agreement.
As all this was happening in Katihar, Kumar’s arch-rival, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, was in Shirdi (Mahrashtra) Thursday to seek the blessings of Sai Baba. From there, he was off to Nasik, the seat of a 'jyotirling’ and then to the Shani temple at Shani Shingapur.
On Friday, the RJD chief was at Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple, another jyotirling. Sources in his party said Prasad was expected to be back in Patna on Monday.
Just ahead of his party's resounding victory in the Maharajganj by-election earlier this month, the RJD chief had gone to Tirupati. “And see, how his prayers were answered,” said another supporter, happy at the bickering in the NDA.
A pious man in recent years, the RJD chief had organised Lord Shiva’s 'maharudraabhishek' and 'sudarshan mahajaap' at the