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Tejashwi Launches Counter Attack as Prashant Kishor Denies Lobbying for Lalu-Nitish Truce

Tejashwi Yadav has dared Nitish Kumar to speak up on the controversy after Prashant Kishor denied meeting Lalu Prasad Yadav to engineer a truce between RJD and JD(U).


Updated:April 13, 2019, 8:47 PM IST

New Delhi: With less than a week to go for second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, poll strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishore finds himself in the midst of a hectic war of words with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and his mother Rabri Devi.

Round 2 of his spat was triggered with Kishor refuting Rabri Devi’s claims that he lobbied for a truce between Lalu and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

“Whenever @laluprasadrjd ji wants, he should sit with me before the media as it would let everybody know what transpired between me and him and who gave an offer to whom,” he tweeted on Saturday.

Launching a counter-attack, Tejashwi dared Nitish Kumar to speak up on the controversy. “Why is Nitish maintaining silence? He should come out and speak. Prashant Kishor has been meeting us, it is written in Lalu's book also. Prashant should first take permission from Nitish and then tweet.”

In an interview to News18, Rabri Devi had alleged that Nitish Kumar sent Prashant Kishor to meet Lalu five times in attempts to reunite the two parties. She further claimed that Kishor told Lalu to declare a PM face for the Lok Sabha polls.

“Prashant Kishore had visited our residence five times. I even threw him out of the house. He is a liar. He told Lalu ji that Nitish Kumar has sent him to form a merger between the two parties… but we protested, we don’t trust Nitish,” said Rabri Devi.

The feud started after Lalu in his recently released book, Gopalganj to Raisina, wrote, "Kishor seemed to indicate that if I (Lalu) were to assure in writing my party's support to the JD(U), the latter would pull out of the BJP alliance and rejoin Mahagathbandhan.”

Defending himself Kishor had last week dismissed the claim as "bogus" and said that Nitish Kumar had sent no feelers through him for Bihar chief minister's return to "Mahagathbandhan".

Nitish Kumar had severed his ties with the Grand Alliance in July 2017, less than two years after his partnership with arch-rival Lalu and the Congress succeeded in delivering a crushing defeat to the BJP-led NDA in the assembly polls.

Reacting to the claim in the book, Nitish Kumar had also accused RJD chief Lalu violating prison rules by talking to politicians over phone from ‘jail’. The JD(U) president also said Lalu talks to poll strategist and his party vice-president Prashant Kishor from inside the jail.

“…Despite having such wide network as a strategist, he (Kishor) felt that he is a native of Bihar and should be with a party of his choice in the state. This is a matter of appreciation. But that person (Kishor) meets many people, many things are said, you never know who will say what. Even Lalu ji talks to him. People know this. Lalu ji talks to people even from inside jail. Whatever may be the rules, but you cannot talk from inside jail.

Doesn’t everyone know the fact,” Nitish had told a News18 in an interview.

Reacting on Kishore’s latest tweet after Rabri Devi;s comment, RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari told CNN News18, “Why is Prashant Kishor tweeting? He is stuck now basically...'Asli film abhi baaki hai'.”

Lalu is currently undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi under judicial custody after his conviction in fodder scam cases. Maximum three people are allowed to meet him there every Saturday.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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