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Battered Lalu Prasad Gets Opposition's Support, Nitish Kumar Remains Silent

There were media reports on Sunday that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee talked to Lalu Prasad Yadav over the phone, expressing support.

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Updated:July 9, 2017, 4:47 PM IST
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Battered Lalu Prasad Gets Opposition's Support, Nitish Kumar Remains Silent
JD (U) supremo Nitish Kumar and RJD's Lalu Prasad Yadav share a light moment. (PTI photo)
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New Delhi: Congress leaders have expressed solidarity with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, who has been battered by a series of CBI raids, on the properties owned by him and his family members. However, one leader, who has been conspicuous by his silence, is JD (U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

There were media reports on Sunday that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee talked to Lalu Prasad Yadav over the phone, expressing support.

Bihar and state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary and Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh paid a visit to Lalu, PTI reported, after helping Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar wind up her 3-day visit to Bihar.

Choudhary told PTI it was a "personal" visit and "not a political one." Taking on the BJP he said:"Since they (BJP) have failed to defeat us (Grand Alliance) through the people's mandate, they are now misusing the government machinery to target us."

Earlier, talking to reporters at the Sadaquat Ashram, the state Congress chief, who is also the education minister in Nitish Kumar's cabinet, repeated Prasad's defence, which he had put forward on Friday, that Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav was a minor at the time of the allotment of license for two IRCTC hotels to the Kochhar brothers at Ranchi and Puri, allegedly in exchange for land in Patna.

He also blamed BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the CBI raids.

While the Congress leaders stood with Lalu, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was yet to break his silence on the matter.

The RJD, Congress and JD(U) are partners in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar, headed by Kumar.

A report from Rajgir, where Kumar has been staying since Thursday due to health reasons, said the chief minister visited the famous tourist spot of Ghora Katora, but the media was not allowed inside during his visit.

When contacted, Bihar JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh and spokesman Neeraj Kumar refused to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, RJD ministers and leaders kept rushing to Rabri Devi's residence in support of the party's "first family".

RJD ministers Chandrika Rai, Abdul Gafoor, state party chief Ramchandra Purbe and a host of others were seen going inside Rabri Devi's house.

(With inputs from PTI)
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