- Rabri Devi claimed Mr Kishor met Lalu Yadav with RJD-JDU merger pitch
- Mr Kishor tweeted, calling Lalu Yadav for "joint media interaction"
- "You should go to PM Modi-Nitish Kumar duo to sell stories," RJD said
Election strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor this morning took a sharp dig at Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav and invited him for a "joint media interaction" to clear the air about Rabri Devi's claim about a pre-poll alliance offer to the RJD.
Ex-Bihar minister and Lalu Prasad Yadav's wife, Rabri Devi, on Friday claimed that Mr Kishor, who joined Nitish Kumar's JD(U) last year, recently met her husband. She also said that Mr Kishor suggested that Lalu Yadav's RJD and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) - who parted ways in 2017 - merge again and the new entity thus formed should declare its "prime ministerial candidate" ahead of the national election.
"All our staff and security personnel deployed here are witnesses. He called on us at least five times, mostly here (her 10, Circular Road residence), and one or two times at paanch number (5, Deshratna Marg - the bungalow allotted to her younger son Tejashwi Yadav)," Rabri Devi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
If Mr Kishor denies meeting Lalu Yadav, it would be a "blatant lie", she stressed.
Mr Kishor responded to Rabri Devi's claim this morning and tweeted, "Those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth."
Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was the chief minister of Bihar, had made similar claims about Prashant Kishor's merger offer in his recently-published autobiography. He is convicted in the multi-crore fodder scam cases.
Mr Kishor targeted the RJD chief, saying: "Lalu Prasad Yadav ji, Let's have a joint media interaction. Everyone will know the truth about the conversation between me and him; and the truth of who offered what?"
The RJD, about two hours later, replied to Mr Kishor on the micro-blogging platform. "Pandey ji, Our party chief has more experience than your age. There are so many politicians like you have who have come and gone. You should go to the Modi-Nitish duo to sell stories... if we reveal the truth, it could be very damaging to your reputation," the party tweeted in Hindi.
The JD(U), the RJD and the Congress forged a grand alliance after the 2015 assembly polls in Bihar but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar parted ways in 2017 and joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
Prashant Kishor, credited with the success of Narendra Modi's 2014 national election campaign and Nitish Kumar 2015 Bihar campaign, joined the JD(U) in September last year. He is overseeing the party's campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sources say he is also working on the campaign of YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh.
(With inputs from agencies)