Nitish Kumar responds to Lalu Yadav ‘doors are open’ remark: ‘I don't pay…' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar responds to Lalu Yadav ‘doors are open’ remark: ‘I don't pay…'

Feb 17, 2024 01:18 PM IST

Last month, Nitish Kumar ditched the grand alliance in Bihar and joined hands with the BJP.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday responded to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav's remarks that his party's "doors were always open" for the Janata Dal (United) chief.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.(HT photo)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.(HT photo)

“I don't pay attention to who says what. Things were not going well, so I left them (RJD),” Kumar said. "We will now investigate whatever went wrong in between,” he added.

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Kumar announced the end of the 17-month-old coalition government run by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), Congress and Left parties on January 27.

Hours later, he joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and took oath as chief minister for the third time in four years, and ninth since 2005.

On Thursday, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar were seen warmly shaking hands inside the Vidhan Sabha premises where the RJD supremo had gone to boost the morale of Manoj Jha and Sanjay Yadav who filed nomination papers for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

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This was the first encounter between them since Nitish Kumar's decision to ditch the Mahagathbandhan.

When Lalu Prasad was asked whether the bonhomie indicated that he was still open to rapprochement with Kumar, the RJD supremo replied "Let him come back. Then we will see (jab aaenge tab dekha jaaega)".

When pressed further, as to whether the door was still open for the former ally, Prasad replied "It is always open (khula hi rahta hai)".

On partners within INDIA alliance

Nitish Kumar on Saturday also responded to a question on apprehensions that National Congress (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Jayant Singh are drifting away from the INDIA alliance.

“I tried my best (to keep everyone together)…The alliance was long over,” Kumar told reporters, according to ANI. "Now I am working for the people of Bihar and will continue doing it..."

He also reiterated that he was not in favour of naming the alliance as INDIA. “I was not even in favour of this name for the alliance as I had something else in mind,” Nitish Kumar said.

Several NC leaders have dropped hints that the party will not spare any of the three Lok Sabha seats from Kashmir for its allies in the INDIA bloc. The party had emerged victorious from the seats in question during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

On Thursday, NC president Farooq Abdullah had said that his party will contest elections on all five Lok Sabha seats from Jammu and Kashmir independently. His son and party vice-president Omar Abdullah, however, later clarified that NC was a part of the INDIA alliance and will hold talks with Congress. He, however, made no mention of PDP.

Similarly, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary has given ample indications quite a few times about his decision to break away from his party’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) after the Centre announced the conferment of the Bharat Ratna on his grandfather and late PM Chaudhary Charan Singh.

He has, however, not made any formal and direct announcement in this regard so far.

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