All well in RJD, says Rabri Devi after CM Nitish meets Siddiqui
The Sunday meeting between Kumar and Siddiqui, the former RJD state president, has set tongues wagging that several “disillusioned” legislators, allegedly in touch with the ruling party through backroom channels, may switch sides at an opportune moment.Updated: Jul 23, 2019 15:24 IST
A day after Bihar chief minister and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar’s one-on-one meeting with senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui triggered political speculation, former chief minister Rabri Devi stepped in to announce that “all is well” and that the Lalu Prasad-led party was intact.
However, her party’s ally and president of HAM-S, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has met Kumar a couple of times in the past, kept the political pot simmering on Monday. “Politics is a game of possibilities. Anything is possible”, he said.
The Sunday meeting between Kumar and Siddiqui, the former RJD state president, has set tongues wagging that several “disillusioned” legislators, allegedly in touch with the ruling party through backroom channels, may switch sides at an opportune moment.
JD (U) leaders have also pointed to such an eventuality, both inside the state Assembly and outside, particularly during their jibes at Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who had gone “missing” for nearly a month after RJD’s humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls that also raised questions about his leadership qualities.
In a measured response, Rabri said the RJD stood united and everyone was free to meet anyone. “The chief minister was on a visit to flood ravaged areas in Darbhanga. And as Siddiqui ji’s village was also flooded, he went there. There is nothing more to it,” she said.
The former chief minister also rubbished reports that efforts were on to poach RJD legislators. “I am not aware of any effort to break the party. RJD is united. We have been rooted and strong in the past and continue to remain so,” she said.
In the past, immediately after Kumar severed ties with the NDA, RJD had accused the JD (U) of engineering a split in the party with the tacit support of the then Assembly speaker. Siddiqui, who has often been dubbed as “right man in the wrong party”, was reportedly marked as one spearheading the move by his detractors.
State Congress president Madan Mohan Jha squarely rejected any political intent behind the meeting. “Instead of playing politics, all efforts should be directed towards proving relief to flood victims in this hour of crisis,” he said.