JD(U) leader bins claim of Nitish miffed with Oppn meet

Nitish not angry at all, asserts JD(U) president who accompanied him to Bengaluru

'Nitish Kumar is the sutradhar (driving force) of opposition unity. And a sutradhar never gets angry', asserted Lalan.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav. Credit: PTI File Photo

JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan', who accompanied Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the trip to Bengaluru, on Wednesday strongly denied reports of the latter's displeasure with the way things went at the opposition meet.

Talking to reporters here, Lalan described as "dushprachar" (canard) of the BJP-led NDA reports of Kumar being unhappy with the acronym 'I.N.D.I.A' and going into a sulk over not being made convener of the new coalition.

"This is all dushprachar and rumour mongering on the part of the NDA led by the country's honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The name I.N.D.I.A bore the stamp of approval from all leaders present at the opposition meet", said Lalan.

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About the speculations around Nitish Kumar being made the convener, the JD(U) chief said "This was not on the agenda of yesterday's meeting. It may be thought about when the next meeting takes place in Mumbai".

He alleged that BJP leaders like former Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi who have claimed that Kumar skipped the press conference because of dissatisfaction over not being made the convener, suffered from 'chhapas rog (craving for publicity)'.

"Nitish Kumar is the sutradhar (driving force) of opposition unity. And a sutradhar never gets angry", asserted Lalan.

He added, "I remember a speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mumbai where he had repeatedly urged people to vote for I.N.D.I.A. Now, the time has come that people will, indeed vote for I.N.D.I.A (pun intended) and Modi shall have to make way in deference to public sentiment".

Lalan also claimed that the NDA meeting called by the PM in Delhi on Wednesday was indicative of "desperation".

"This is the first time since Modi has come to power, that an NDA meeting has been called. I can say that as a Lok Sabha member whose party had been a part of the NDA", said the JD(U) president, whose party quit the BJP-led coalition a year ago.

He also mocked the BJP's claim that more than 30 parties were now part of the NDA, saying "over a dozen such political outfits are from the north-east. The entire region accounts for only 23 Lok Sabha seats".

Asked about the PM's jibe at many opposition leaders facing charges of corruption, Lalan said: "he should revisit his own past observations. Whom did he lash out at upon return from Maharashtra and where are those people today".

The allusion was to Modi’s speech in Bhopal where he had accused NCP chief Sharad Pawar, among others, of nepotism and corruption.

While Pawar is in the opposition camp, his nephew Ajit Pawar recently broke away and became the Deputy CM of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra. The splinter group includes some others who have been either named in corruption cases or accused of graft by the BJP in the past.

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