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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Tejashwi Yadav claims Nitish Kumar wanted JD(U) to merge with Congress

In an interview to a local news channel, Tejashwi claimed that Nitish Kumar moved ahead with his plan to merge JD(U) with the Congress in the hope that he would be projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, against BJP’S Narendra Modi.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 15, 2019 09:14 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
lok sabha elections 2019,JD(U),tejashwi yadav
File photo of Bihar Chief Minister and Janta Dal United JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar with electoral strategist Prashant Kishor. (PTI)

In a new development in the controversy over RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s assertion in his recent autobiography that Nitish Kumar wanted Janata Dal (United) to merge with Rashtriya Janata Dal, the leader of oppositionTejashwi Prasad Yadav on Sunday said the Bihar CM was looking to merge his party with Congress after RJD rejected his proposal.

In an interview to a local news channel, Tejashwi claimed that Nitish Kumar moved ahead with his plan to merge JD(U) with the Congress in the hope that he would be projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, against BJP’S Narendra Modi. “Kumar was desperately looking to snap ties with BJP, barely six months after he formed the NDA government in Bihar after dumping the Grand Alliance (GA),” Tejashwi said.

Congress MLC and All India Congress Committee (AICC) media panelist Prem Chandra Mishra, however, rubbished Tejashwi’s claim, saying that he was not aware of any such move of JD(U) to merge with Congress. “If Kumar had discussed the issue with AICC chief Rahul Gandhi, then I cannot say anything. But there was no such talks in the upper echelons of AICC,” said Mishra.

Mishra, however, said that Kumar was an ambitious person and was desperate to fulfil his desire to become the PM candidate. “But Congress cannot rely on him because of his opportunistic pursuits. Kumar and his party lost credibility after he betrayed the people’s mandate and switched his loyalty to BJP,” said the Congress leader.

A major political controversy was triggered when Lalu Prasad, in his autobiography, mentioned that JD(U) poll strategist Prashant Kishore met Prasad as an emissary of the chief minister repeatedly with the merger plan on the condition that Kumar could be projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also supported Prasad’s contention in the book, saying that there was definitely talk doing the rounds about JD(U)’s planned merger with RJD.

Kishore, however, denied his meeting with Prasad on the issue and dared the RJD chief to have a debate.

State JD(U) chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh also dismissed Tejashwi’s statement, saying that there were some people in politics, who always wanted to rake up false and baseless issues to seek publicity during the election period.

BJP spokesman Prem Ranjan Patel also dismissed the talks about JD(U)’s merger as baseless, saying that an attempt was being made to create confusion.

For complete coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, click here

First Published: Apr 15, 2019 09:14 IST