Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met RJD chief Lalu Prasad at the latter’s residence on Thursday. The meeting comes at a time when the RJD chief is reportedly displeased with Nitish’s “snakes and sandalwood” tweet. The Bihar CM, who met Lalu at short notice, stayed at his place for an hour and later the two waved to the public in a show of solidarity.
The two leaders are learnt to have held discussions on their joint campaign and other strategies of the ‘grand alliance’. The meeting also assumes importance ahead of the crucial seat-sharing talks between the alliance partners.
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RJD sources said the meeting clarified misgivings and provided a boost to party workers.
Lalu Prasad was reportedly upset with Nitish’s tweet in which he had quoted a Rahim couplet, likening himself to sandalwood that remains unaffected by snakes wrapped around it. The tweet was seen as a dig at the RJD chief, who had said after projecting Nitish as the CM face that he was ready for “vishpaan (drinking venom)” to defeat BJP.
Subsequently, the RJD also sought to assert its position in its first set of hoardings that had only Lalu Prasad’s image on them. “Na jumlon wali na filmy sarkar, Garibon ko chahiye apni sarkar (Neither a government with slogans nor a filmy government, it has to be government of the poor),” read the hoardings. The RJD is known to attack both the BJP and the JD (U) with the “filmy government” remark.
Meanwhile, the JD(U) has decided to make a shift from its hi-tech campaign and launch a bicycle campaign in which top party leaders will go from door to door on bicycles. The campaign has reportedly been added to keep the RJD in good humour. The RJD recently announced a tonga campaign , an idea that was appreciated by JD (U) MPs Sharad Yadav and R C P Singh.
Speaking on the bicycle campaign, JD (U)’s national spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express: “We will soon start the campaign. It is on the line of our Har Ghar Dastak programme”. Asked about misgivings between Lalu and Nitish, Tyagi said the CM had aleady clarified his tweet and the two big leaders were geared up for the battle ahead.
The RJD and the JD (U) are set to start their joint campaign from August. Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had earlier expressed displeasure with Nitish going solo with his hi-tech campaign planned by publicity manager Prashant Kishore.