Prashant Kishor says Rabri lying, dares Lalu

Prashant Kishor challenges Lalu Prasad Yadav to appear before media and explain when the election strategist had proposed a JDU-RJD merger

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Prashant Kishor

Patna: Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Saturday denied the claim of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi that he had met with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav as Nitish Kumar’s messenger with the proposal to merge the JD(U) into the RJD. He challenged the RJD president to tell the media what the conversation between the two.

The election strategist took on Kishore Prasad, national vice-president of the Janata Dal (United), too for the “false claims” by the latter. He tweeted, “Those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth.”

Kishor calls Lalu’s autobiography ‘nonsense’

Kishor challenged the RJD head to sit with him in front of the media and tell everyone what happened in the meeting and who gave the proposal.

Kishor said, “Whenever Lalu wants, he should sit with me in front of the media because that will make everyone know what happened between him and me and who offered what to whom.”

Rabri Devi had on Friday claimed that Kishor, on behalf of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had met her husband with the proposal of merger of the JD(U) into the RJD and declaration of their own prime ministerial candidate before the general election.

She had said if Kishor were to deny the conversation with Lalu Prasad, he would be lying.

Rabri Devi, who is also RJD’s national vice president and leader of the opposition in the State Legislative Assembly told a regional news channel here, “I got angry and asked him to go because I had no faith in him after the betrayal of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.”

Earlier, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had said that many people had approached him as well as the Congress on behalf of Nitish Kumar with a proposal of reconciliation.

This disclosure of Rabri Devi came after Prasad’s claim in a recently published autobiography where the former Bihar Chief Minister, now serving a jail sentence for his involvement in the fodder scam, said that Kumar wanted to rejoin his party general body. For this, Lalu claimed, Nitish sent Kishor to the RJD chief as his envoy. The claim caused a stir in Bihar politics.

Kumar had quit the alliance in 2017 and joined back the BJP-led NDA.

Earlier, Kishor had described the claim made in Prasad’s autobiography as “nonsense”.

Kishor worked as a strategist with Kumar and Prasad during the Bihar Assembly election in 2015. He joined JD(U) formally in September last year.

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Nitish-Lalu love-hate relationship

Prasad and Kumar, who have been partners since the days of Patna University politics, have worked together for a long time before separating in the middle of the 1990s. As the chief strategist, Nitish was known as the “Chanakya of Lalu” when the latter became the leader of opposition in the Bihar Assembly in 1989.

In 1990, Nitish played an important role in making Prasad the Chief Minister. But by 1994, the differences between the two top leaders of the Mandal Commission campaign for OBC reservation heightened to a point of separation.

Kumar went out of the Janata Dal to form the Samata Party in collaboration with George Fernandes. After three years, Lalu split the Janata Dal and formed the RJD in 1997. This was when Lalu faced the charge of involvement in the fodder scam. However, taking an unexpected step, he made his wife Rabri Devi the Chief Minister (by proxy).

Kumar’s Samata Party had alliances with the BJP in the 1996 general elections.

After a long war, Kumar finally managed to oust the RJD from power in 2005. Since then, Kumar has been appointed as the Chief Minister, except for some time in 2014 when he resigned his party after Narendra Modi’s defeat in BJP’s hands. Jeetan Ram Manjhi was made the chief minister during this period.

Kumar and Prasad joined hands in 2015 and defeated BJP in Bihar Assembly elections. But RJD supremo’s son, Chakshi Yadav, was again withdrawn in July 2017 after being accused of corruption.