Laughing off arch-rival Lalu Yadav's challenge for the October 30 bypolls in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) patriarch can get him "shot", but "can't do anything else".
In a video shared by news agency ANI, Mr Kumar is seen speaking to reporters. Asked about Lalu Yadav's remark that he has returned to Patna to ensure the "visarjan" -- immersion -- of Mr Kumar and the ruling NDA in the bypolls, the Chief Minister started laughing. "If he wants, he can get me shot, he cannot do anything else," he said.
#WATCH | Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says, "He can get me shot. He can't do anything else. If he wants, he can get me shot..." when asked by reporters about RJD leader Lalu Yadav's statement 'I will ensure ‘visarjan' of Nitish Kumar, NDA govt in Bihar'. pic.twitter.com/1oSaDGcgmP— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2021
In an interview to ANI yesterday, Lalu Yadav said he will campaign for his party at poll-bound Kusheshwar Asthan (SC) and Tarapur Assembly segments.
"I know Tejashwi is campaigning in both the places and is doing really well in giving a strong fight to the NDA. I will ensure visarjan (immersion)," Lalu Yadav had said.
The return of Lalu Prasad to the Bihar political arena after a gap of three years has raised political temperatures ahead of the bypolls. The RJD founder, who was in prison till earlier this year following his conviction in fodder scam cases, hit headlines soon after his return.
Responding to a question on the rift between the RJD and Congress, Lalu Yadav told reporters, "What is Congress's alliance? Why should we give the seat to Congress? So that they would lose? So they would lose their deposit?" His remark on the Congress's Bihar unit in-charge Bhakt Charan Das drew criticism, with the party accusing the RJD leader of hurting the self-respect of the Dalit community.
Mr Das had said the alliance between the two parties would have remained intact had the RJD spared one seat for the Congress in the bypolls.
Lalu Yadav's remarks also come against the backdrop of the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections when the RJD, despite emerging as the single largest party, had to sit in the Opposition benches as ally Congress won only 19 out of the 70 seats it contested.