For Rajya Sabha Polls, Nitish Kumar Dials Lalu Prasad

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For Rajya Sabha Polls, Nitish Kumar Dials Lalu Prasad

Nitish Kumar during his first press interaction after his resignation from the chief minister's post about a month ago following his party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

Patna:  Bihar's former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said he has sought RJD chief Lalu Prasad's support for two JD(U) candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election to "foil the game plan of BJP to destabilise the government"..

"I have appealed to the RJD, the Congress and the CPI to support the two JD(U) candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election to defeat the BJP. I have also talked to Lalu Prasad over this matter," Mr Kumar told reporters in his first press interaction since his resignation about a month ago following his party's drubbing at the hands of the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

The two JD(U) nominees - diplomat-politician Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi - are facing stiff challenge from independents - real estate baron Anil Sharma and Sabir Ali who are being backed by party rebels and BJP in the June 19 bypoll.

"When the Rajya Sabha election schedule was announced, I was personally of the view that we should not fight the polls. Whoever vacated the seats could have fought again and we would have helped. But they said they would not fight so we decided to fight ", he said at the presser, adding that the BJP "is trying to destabilise the Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar. They want early elections in Bihar. When I resigned I could have asked for early elections but I did not do that. The assembly was chosen for five years."

The RJD recently supported the Manjhi government during a vote of confidence in the Bihar assembly but Lalu later announced this was a one-off case. Since then, two out of three RJD MLAs who defected to the JD(U) have been offered ministerial berths, something that has angered Lalu.

But Mr Kumar says this will not be a hindrance. "This is a political circumstance. The BJP wants to destabilise the Bihar government. So everyone should take responsibility. We may have political differences but the BJP's gameplan should be foiled."

Mr Kumar also made a strong pitch for the Congress to get the Leader of the Opposition (LOP) post saying this was needed as a strong opposition was necessary for the smooth functioning of democracy.


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