RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav today rejected the leadership of Rahul Gandhi while setting out a formula for 2019 general elections saying, “if Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal, Priyanka Gandhi come together then no one can stop them from winning in 2019 general elections,” according to a CNN report. He did not mention Bihar CM Nitish Kumar led JDU and speculation is that the ommission was deliberate. Lalu, while referring to the general elections, also said that he believes that there is a strong possibility of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati coming together, according to ANI. Lalu said that, “if this happens then the 2019 match over” – in effect, he is saying the coming together of these disparate parties will throw PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah led BJP out of power.
Lalu, while speaking at the foundation day of his party in Patna said there is an attempt being made to break the opposition party members. “Be it Robert Vadra, Priyanka ji, Kejriwal, Mamata didi or Lalu Yadav and his family, an attempt is being made to break them,” the RJD chief was quoted by ANI as saying. The Income Tax Department had earlier conducted raids on Lalu Prasad Yadav’s kin in the over Rs 1000 crore Benami land deals while the Central Bureau of Investigation had also raided former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s house in Chennai last month.
Meanwhile, JD(U) leader Pawan Varma told Times Now that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said that any allegations of wrongdoings must be probed. He said that the JD(U)’s alliance had been made with the RJD and not with Lalu Prasad Yadav. According to a India Today report, RJD will take out a ‘BJP hatao, desh bachao’ rally in Patna on August 27, in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Left parties, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda, and former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati are expected to be present.
While Janata Dal United (JDU) General Secretary Shayam Razak had said that JDU as a party would not attend the event but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may in his personal capacity if he was invited by the RJD. There were also reports of Nitish Kumar getting closer to BJP. However, Razaq clarified that the alliance is undisturbed and strong but the two parties are different and are free to conduct their respective rallies.