Nitish spoke to Lalu over phone, says RJD leader
A senior RJD leader on Monday claimed that Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U President Nitish Kumar had spoken over the phone with RJD chief Lalu Prasad after the CBI raids on the latter's residence here.
Jagdanand Singh revealed the news after the Rashtriya Janata Dal decided that Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of Lalu, will not resign.
"Nitish Kumar ne Laluji se phone pe bat kiya hai (Nitish Kumar spoke with Lalu on phone)," Singh, a former Minister, said here -- sending a strong political message and countering reports in a section of media that Nitish Kumar's "silence" over the CBI raids had got Lalu worried.
Singh made it clear that Lalu was not unhappy and was in touch with Nitish Kumar. "Dono ki baat-chit hui hai telephone pe (Both have spoken over phone)."
Nitish Kumar is heading the Grand Alliance government of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress in Bihar.
Interestingly, JD-U leaders, including party spokespersons, have said they have no idea about it.
The public silence of Nitish Kumar and his party over the CBI raids, despite repeated demands made by BJP leaders to speak on the issue, has been a matter of discussion across Bihar.
Nitish Kumar and JD-U's silence on the issue has been causing anxiety in the RJD camp. At a time when Lalu and his family are in trouble over the CBI raids, Nitish Kumar has been maintaining studious silence instead of supporting the Yadav family like the other ally Congress, a RJD leader said.
Unlike Congress leaders, not a single JD-U leader has visited Lalu Prasad in the past four days. Nitish Kumar himself returned to his official residence from Rajgir in Nalanda district on Sunday after spending three days there, away from the heated political climate in Patna after the CBI raids on the Lalu-Rabri residence.
Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of his JD-U party's 70 MLAs on Tuesday here.
According to a senior JD-U leader, considered closed to Nitish Kumar, he is likely to break his silence only after holding a meeting with party MLAs on Tuesday.
JD-U MLAs and party spokespersons have reportedly been instructed by Nitish Kumar not to issue any statement on the issue as it may worsen the already strained ties between the two parties.
In the last four days, opposition BJP leaders have repeatedly demanded that Nitish Kumar break his silence and take action against Lalu's two sons - Tejashwi Yadav, who is Deputy Chief Minister and Tej Pratap Yadav, who is the Health Minister - for their alleged involvement in corruption.
Some BJP leaders have been asking Nitish Kumar to snap ties with the RJD.
The CBI on Friday carried out raids at 12 places in Patna, Delhi, Ranchi, Puri and Gurugram in connection with the case involving Lalu Prasad and his family members.
The CBI has registered the case against Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, Tejashwi Yadav, former Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Managing Director P.K. Goyal, and Lalu Prasad's confidante Prem Chand Gupta's wife Sujata on allegations of awarding the tender for development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri in 2006.
In the same year, the hotels were transferred to the IRCTC.
Lalu Prasad was the Railways Minister between 2004-09.