Hours before the Congress-led opposition’s Presidential nominee Meira Kumar arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit to seek support for her candidature, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar suddenly left for Rajgir. Meira Kumar was welcomed by state Congress President Ashok Choudhary, who is also Bihar Education Minister, and senior party leaders and hundredds of workers at the Patna airport. However, Nitish Kumar, who was not keeping well for last two days, suddenly left Patna for Rajgir in Nalanda district, where he will rest for two days on doctors’ advice, said sources in the ruling Janata Dal-United. However, speculation is rife here that Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U President, has decided to stay away from Patna during Meira Kumar’s visit as she was expected to visit him at official residence to seek his support. She will also visit her native village Chandwa in Bhojpur district on Friday where she will meet Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislators. “Meira Kumar will also meet RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who described her as ‘Bihar ki beti’ after she was made the opposition’s candidate,” said Congress legislator Shakil Ahmad Khan.
According to RJD sources, Lalu Prasad will be present during her meeting with his legislators. However, Bihar’s ruling alliance is divided over their support for the former Lok Sabha Speaker, with Nitish Kumar already announcing his party support to NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, who was the state Governor.