No more courtesy calls from Nitish Kumar to Lalu Yadav to inquire about his health – Here’s why

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Patna | Updated: July 10, 2018 12:35:38 PM

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the phone call made by him to Lalu Prasad Yadav last month was a “just a gesture without any political motivation”.

Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Bihar politics, BJP, RJD, Tej Pratap, Tejashwi YadavBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar talks with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi during the ‘Lok Samvad’ programme, in Patna on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Putting all speculations to the rest of any possibility of the JD(U) rejoining ranks with the RJD to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the phone call made by him to Lalu Prasad Yadav last month was a “just a gesture without any political motivation”. Speaking to reporters here on Monday at a Lok Samvad programme, Kumar said that now onwards he will only follow the newspapers reports to check for latest updates about the former CM’s health.

“It seems no appreciation is left for gestures arising out of human consideration,” he said, apparently responding to the treatment meted out to him by Lalu’s sons following his June 26 call.

Lalu returned to Patna on Sunday after spending 21 days at a Mumbai hospital where he underwent a fistula surgery. Kumar said that he had called RJD leader to inquire about his health at least four times but his most recent one was sensationalised by his sons. He said that he had called Manoj Jha when the RJD supremo was rushed to AIIMS in Delhi. Kumar added that he then called Bhopa Yadav (MLA and Lalu’s close aide) on three occasions to ask about Lalu’s health.

“I called up four times to inquire about Laluji’s health. From now I will keep updates about him through the newspapers,” he said.

“When I called Bhola Yadav after the surgery, he handed over the phone to him (Lalu),” the JD(U) national president added.

He also termed as “laughable” Lalu’s eldest son Tej Pratap remark that he will put a “no entry” board for “chacha” (uncle) Nitish Kumar outside the residence of Rabri Devi in Patna.

Kumar’s was responding to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s remarks calling his phone call “a late courtesy call”. His phone call had triggered speculations that he was mulling to return to the Grand Alliance which he had dissolved last year. The matter escalated further when Tejashwi said that “even if Nitish Kumar offers him the CM’s he will not accept it” and reiterated that the “doors of the Grand Alliance are closed for him”.

Meanwhile, Kumar also downplayed the talks of a “rift” between the JD(U) and BJP over seat sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. He said that all such reports are just rumours.

“There is no proposal (regarding seat sharing). Everything is speculative at this stage. If anyone is saying anything on it, it is all hot air. There has been no differences (with BJP). The government has been functioning well. (Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister) Sushil Kumar Modi has been sitting by me. Can you see any distance?” Kumar said.

Kumar is slated to meet BJP national president Amit Shah in Patna on July 12. It is expected that Kumar will ask Shah to finalise the seat-sharing deal well in advance to avoid friction with the partners of the NDA.

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