The ongoing tiff between Bihar’s ruling Janta Dal United (JDU) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) became more evident after chief minister Nitish Kumar-led party decided not to attend Lalu Prasad Yadav’s ‘BJP hatao desh bachao’, rally in Patna on August 27. However, what has grabbed attention is is JDU General Secretary Shayam Razak telling the media 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. Further speaking to ANI, Razak said, “This is a rally entirely by the RJD and not by the alliance. We congratulate them on this front against BJP. There is no point for JDU to participate in it as it is not a joint rally. The alliance is undisturbed and strong but the two parties are different and are free to conduct their respective rallies.”
The strain in the grand alliance is fairly visible these days on other issues too. Recently, JDU announced that it would support NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and not joint Opposition nominee Meira Kumar of the Congress. Lalu had said on June 22 said that JDU’s call to support Kovind was ‘a wrong decision,’ adding he would appeal to Nitish Kumar not to commit ‘a historic blunder’, reported PTI.
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Both RJD and Congress had boycotted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led special midnight session where the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled. However, JDU did not boycott it.
As per a report by India Today, RJD chief has also invited various other Opposition leaders to be a part of the rally. Some of the names are Congress President Sonia Gandhi, UP former CM Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee amongst others. The rally is aimed at uniting Opposition parties across the country to take on the BJP-led NDA in the next general elections which is scheduled to take place in 2019.