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On Rabri Devi’s merger claim, Prashant Kishor’s dare to Lalu Prasad and RJD’s retort

Rabri Devi on Friday claimed that Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD-U merge and the new entity thus formed declare its “prime ministerial candidate” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 13, 2019 15:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patna
Prashant Kishor,Lalu,Nitish Kumar
Prashant Kishor dared the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo to sit with him before the media and tell everybody what transpired during their meeting and who offered what.(PTI File Photo)

Sharp exchanges between Prashant Kishor, the poll-strategist-turned-politician, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad continued on Saturday with both sides engaging in a series of no-holds-barred attacks against one another on Twitter.

Kishor, who was joined the Janata Dal-United headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last year, rubbished the claim that he had met Prasad with a proposal that the RJD and the JD-U should be merged and the new entity should declare its prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.

“Those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth,” tweeted Kishor before throwing a challenge to Prasad to hold a joint press conference to tell what transpired in the meetings between the two.

“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 to whom,” Kishor wrote on Twitter.

This came in response to the remarks made by Rabri Devi, Prasad’s wife and the former Bihar chief minister, who claimed that Kishor met her husband a few times with a message from Nitish Kumar offering to merge the JD-U with the RJD. This claim was, incidentally, first made in a recently published biography of Prasad.

Following the open challenge to Prasad from Kishor, the RJD, which is embroiled in a fierce political battle with the JD-U in Bihar, took a swipe at him in a tweet posted on the micro-blogging site.

“Pandey ji, our party chief has more experience than your age. There are so many ‘bazaaru’ (arbitrageurs) and short-lived politicians like you have come and gone. Your fraud will not work here. You sell your stuff to Nitish-Modi. If we reveal the truth, you will lose your worth,” the RJD tweeted in Hindi.

Rabri Devi, in an interview, had also said, “If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a blatant lie.”

In the biography, Prasad was quoted as saying that the Kumar was uncomfortable in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance after his return to the old in 2017 and wanted to return to the grand-alliance. Kishor earlier termed the claim of merger proposal as “bogus”.

Kumar, after having been part of the NDA for nearly two decades, had walked out of the coalition ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP-led coalition registered an emphatic win in the 2014 general elections in Bihar winning 31 of 40 Lok Sabha seats.

Kumar’s JD-U later joined hands with the Congress and the RJD for the 2015 Bihar assembly polls, in which the grand-alliance routed the BJP-led coalition. But the differences cropped up between the JD-U and the RJD leadership and Kumar snapped ties amid allegations of corruption against Tejashwi Yadav, then Bihar deputy chief minister and the son of Prasad, and rejoined the NDA.

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 15:19 IST

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