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Lok Sabha Elections 2019 : Kishor junks Rabri’s claim, dares Lalu for a debate

Rabri had claimed he had met RJD chief on Nitish’s behalf with a proposal to merge two parties, declare a PM face.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 14, 2019 12:12 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Prashant kishore,Congress merger,JDU congress alliance
Bihar Chief Minister and Janta Dal United JD(U) National President Nitish Kumar (PTI)

JD (U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Saturday trashed former chief minister Rabri Devi’s claim that he had met Lalu Prasad as an emissary of Nitish Kumar with a proposal for a JD(U)-RJD merger and declaration of its prime ministerial candidate even as he dared Prasad for a media debate to reveal the contents of what all “transpired” during their talks.

At the receiving end of speculation in an ongoing debate over the purported role of the poll strategist in an abortive attempt to broker truce between Prasad and Kumar aimed at facilitating his return into the Grand Alliance, as claimed by RJD chief in his autobiography, Kishor threw a challenge at Prasad to sit with him before the media and tell everybody what transpired during their meeting and “who offered what”.

He also came down heavily on Prasad for his “false and unsubstantiated claims” saying “those convicted or facing charges of misusing public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth”.

“Whenever @laluprasadrjd ji wants, he should sit with me before the media as it would let everybody know what transpired between me and him and who gave an offer of what to whom,” he said in a tweet.

With the bail plea of Prasad, who is serving a jail term in fodder scam cases, rejected by apex court, a media debate for settling the issue seems remote.

HoweverRabri Devi, who added a new dimension to Prasad’s claim on Friday with her revelation that she shooed away Kishor once he revealed the proposal regarding merger of the two parties and declaration (of Nitish Kumar as) prime ministerial candidate, stood her ground. “I stand by my statement. The deal was sugar-coated with an offer to have Tejashwi as the chief minister of Bihar in 2020.”

She had claimed that Kishor’s proposal had enraged her so much that she asked him to leave as Kumar had lost all trust following his betrayal of people’s mandate and desertion of the GA camp to re-join the BJP-led NDA. “If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a white lie,” Rabri Devi, who is RJD’s national vice-president and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said on Friday.

Prasad’s son and leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav also stepped in to counter Kishor. “The revelations and claims are true. Now, chief minister Nitish Kumar should tell what is correct.”

Tejashwi has, on several occasions, maintained that several people, on behalf of Nitish Kumar, had met him and also approached the Congress with reconciliation proposals.

JD (U) secretary general KC Tyagi, who has defended the poll strategist turned politician, once again came to Kishor’s rescue and said the whole debate over the authenticity of a possible merger proposal between the two parties was ridiculous. “A merger with RJD will be like committing a suicide. We cannot commit a suicide. Such claims are a ploy to divert attention from real issues during poll time,” Tyagi said.

First Published: Apr 14, 2019 09:23 IST