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dna special: Out on bail, Lalu Prasad upsets Nitish Kumar's grand gameplan

Monday, 23 December 2013 - 8:17am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Yadav’s bail in the fodder scam case couldn’t have come at a more opportune time than this. His exit from the Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi has come as a spoilsport for none other than Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had allegedly been trying to orchestrate a split in RJD ever since Lalu’s arrest, and get some of his MLAs in the JD (U) fold.

A senior RJD leader told dna on condition of anonymity, “It is true that the JD (U) had been trying to split the party ever since Lalu went to jail.”

The leader, however, refused to divulge the names of the RJD MLAs approached by the JD (U), but explained the motive behind the move. “Now that the JD (U) has broken its alliance with the BJP on its so-called secular plank, the former is looking for credible Muslim faces for itself. And that’s the reason why they are approaching the RJD leaders,” he added. JD(U) split its 17-year-old alliance with BJP earlier this year on the backdrop of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi being projected as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

JD (U) leaders, meanwhile, rule out any such developments. Senior party leader Shivanand Tiwary told dna, “There is no such thing like the party approaching other camps. There is no need for anybody’s help. The government is doing its best for the people and they will decide accordingly in 2015.”

Party insiders contend that it is the numbers in the assembly post the JD(U) – BJP split that is discomforting Nitish Kumar. In the House of 243 MLAs, the party has 118 MLAs. The JD (U) could pass the vote of confidence in June this year post after its split with BJP, with support from Congress, CPI and four independent candidates. This helped CM Nitish Kumar get 126 votes, four more than the required for the majority.

Congress has four MLAs in the Bihar assembly and the total number of independent candidates is six.

Meanwhile, for Lalu the timing of his release on bail is perfect as he will have ample opportunity to prevent his party from falling apart. He will remain out of jail unless a superior court upholds his conviction yet again.


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