Amid reports of Nitish Kumar's 'willingness' to return to the UPA fold in Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday confirmed that the Bihar chief minister did call his father Lalu Yadav to enquire about his health in hospital.
Amid reports of Nitish Kumar’s ‘willingness’ to return to the UPA fold in Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday confirmed that the Bihar chief minister did call his father Lalu Yadav to enquire about his health in hospital. However, while insisting that Kumar’s was just a courtesy call, the former Deputy CM strongly discouraged the possibility of his party opening the doors again to Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). “Nothing but a late courtesy call to enquire about his health as he underwent fistula operation on Sunday,” Yadav tweeted. Kumar’s ‘courtesy call’ came 4 months after Lalu’s hospitalisation. However, this is not the only surprising act from the Bihar chief minister who dumped RJD to join hands with the BJP.
The Bihar Chief Minister’s statement comes amid a crisis over seat sharing among the constituents of ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The JDU has set the condition that seats should be divided by keeping 2015 Assembly election result as the benchmark. The other three NDA allies – BJP, Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) – had secured lesser seats than the JD(U) in the elections.
‘Atmosphere of conflict.. don’t care who votes for me’
On Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that an atmosphere of conflict is being created in society with an aim to divide voters on the lines of caste or religion to fetch votes. “I don’t care who will vote for me or not. But an atmosphere of conflict is being created in the society to divide voters on caste or religious lines in order to fetch votes,” CM Kumar said in an event joined by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. “I don’t care for votes but certainly take care of the voters irrespective of whether he or she would vote for me,” Kumar added.
Skipping Yoga day
While PM Narendra Modi made special appeals to the entire nation, Kumar chose to skip a programme organised by his government to mark the occasion of International Yoga Day. Kumar, who had given a complete snub to the programme last year, didn’t take a part in the Yoga Day Celebrations this year too. His party termed Yoga as an act which is not to be displayed in public.
Kumar had recently questioned benefits of the much-hyped demonetisation move to common people. The Bihar chief minister, who had praised the move when he was not a part of NDA, slammed it for banks allegedly helping rich and powerful manage their cash. “I was supporter of demonetisation…but how many people benefited from it? Some powerful people shifted their cash from one place to another,” said Kumar. Kumar, surprising all, questioned demonetisation on a day when the party was celebrating the completion of four years of Modi government at the Centre.
Supporting CM Chandrababu Naidu for SCS
Kumar surprised all when he supported the Special Category Status (SCS) demand of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu at the NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Now an NDA ally, Kumar also raised a similar demand for Bihar at the NITI Aayog meet.
The JDU further went on to announce that the BJP can contest the elections alone if it doesn’t agree to the formula. Party general secretary Sanjay Singh said that talking points in 2014 were different than that in upcoming elections. The BJP+ had won 31 seats out of 40 in the state last time.