Ex-Bihar CMs Nitish, Lalu launch joint campaign

Ex-Bihar CMs Nitish, Lalu launch joint campaignHAJIPUR: Bitter foes for almost two decades, former Bihar chief ministers Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad today hugged each other as they launched a joint campaign in support of their alliance candidates for the August 21 Assembly by-polls, and took on ruling BJP at the Centre.

Kumar, who had parted ways with Lalu in 1994 and succeeded in dethroning him in Bihar in 2005 in alliance with BJP, said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre knows that it cannot fulfill the tall promises it has made and will resort to spreading religious passion to cling to power.

“They can run government. They cannot run the country. Did ‘achchhe din (good days)’ come?” he asked, referring to BJP’s slogan during elections.

“Achchhe din will never come. But they have come for some people in BJP. In fact, their ‘apne din (own days)’ have come,” said Kumar, who split with BJP last year over his opposition to Modi’s elevation as Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, and quit as chief minister after his party JD(U) was routed in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

He said his alliance with Lalu, whose party RJD also fared poorly in polls but fetched more votes than JD (U), was the need of the hour as the country was in “danger”.

Hitting out at BJP, Kumar said it is for the first time that those leaders are in power who did not spend a single day in jail during freedom struggle.

“Our forefathers sacrificed their lives. We all know the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Lohia, Vallabhbhai Patel, Ambedkar… Now those people are in the seat of power who did not spend a day behind bars,” he said, in an apparent attack on the BJP’s ideological mentor RSS, which mostly kept away from political movements during the freedom struggle.


Hailing the alliance between RJD and JD(U) as ‘home-coming’, Prasad appealed to Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in neighboring Uttar Pradesh to also bury their hatchet and join hands to defeat BJP.

He said if the vote percentage of RJD, JD (U) and Congress in the Lok Sabha poll were added it would be 45 per cent, which is much bigger than BJP which got over 29 per cent vote in Bihar.

Prasad spoke after Kumar in a signal that he is the bigger partner in the alliance which includes Congress at the joint rally at Jamalpur village, 10 km from Hajipur town in Vaishali district and about 25 km from Patna.

The two leaders, popularly referred to as ‘Bade bhai aur Chotte bhai’ following their drubbing at the hands of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, also lambasted BJP for failing to fulfill its poll promises of checking price rise and generating employment for the youth amidst cheering by the people and supporters of the alliance.

Prasad said the two parties have come together for the sake of social justice which is threatened by BJP which came to power by “feeding false promises to people”.

Kumar said socialists had uprooted Congress from power after Emergency. “But now Congress is no threat and the same socialists will throw BJP out of power.”

There was no big leader from Congress at the meeting and the district president of the party Sunil Kumar Singh spoke for it.

JD(U) candidate Rajendra Rai will contest from as the candidate of RJD-JD(U) alliance from Hajipur constituency for the August 21 Assembly by-poll.

Hajipur is represented in Lok Sabha by Union Minister and LJP President Ramvilas Paswan.–PTI