Kosi,polls make Lalu,Nitish share platform

The state capital on Friday witnessed an apparent bonhomie between arch rivals Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.....

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published:February 28, 2009 11:29 pm

The state capital on Friday witnessed an apparent bonhomie between arch rivals Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav when the latter presented the CM flood relief cheques — Rs 38.60 crore contributed by the Indian Railways’ employees and Rs 2 crore by the RJD.

Nitish thanked “elder brother” Lalu and the employees of Indian Railways,and requested Lalu to urge the Home Ministry to expedite the “process of releasing fund” for Bihar. Asked about Centre-state confrontation,Nitish added,“Laluji aur main saath saath hain,amne samne nahin (We stand together not face-to-face).”

Avoiding questions on the timing of the event,ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,Lalu said,“The state Government is doing its job and we are doing ours. Together,we can fight the Kosi chaos. It is our common cause.” He also avoided answering a question on why the Centre has not yet released Rs 14,500 special package for Bihar. “Bihar Government continues to get money for flood relief,irrespective of where it comes from,” he said.

Lalu also spent 20 minutes at the CM secretariat. While leaving in his luxury vehicle,he told Nitish in a lighter vein: “I had to take this vehicle because you have given us an old Ambassador.” Nitish promptly quipped: “This is what you have handed over to us.”

Nitish also gave Lalu details regarding how his Government was spending the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

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