The Janata Dal (United) on Sunday said the meeting between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was held to call on the Grand Alliance to maintain its strength and unity. “The meeting was just a courtesy call. The ongoing issues in India are known to all. Rahul Gandhi and Nitish Kumar’s views are similar on the issue of corruption, as both believe that there is no place for such practices in the country,” JD(U) leader KC Tyagi told ANI.
Tyagi further stated that the meeting was held to send a message to all the three parties to keep the grand alliance strong, and to maintain its shine. “This party does not belong to a single party, but it belongs to all the three parties. Grand Alliance is not in trouble, it is just facing a period of turbulence. Parties should carry out their activity faithfully,” he said.
Nitish met Rahul at the latter’s residence in the national capital on Saturday, in the backdrop of clouds of uncertainity hovering over the ‘ mahagathbandhan’ in Bihar. Reportedly, Nitish Kumar attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee in the national capital.
The meeting took place amid speculation of growing tension within the grand alliance in the state after corruption charges were levelled against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members, including Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. The situation saw an escalation after Nitish Kumar extended his support to National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Presidential candidate and now elect Ram Nath Kovind.
The two leaders, reports say, discussed the charges against Tejashwi. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a corruption case against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi and others on allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006. Lalu had earlier made it clear that his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is facing corruption charges, will not resign as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister.