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Ahead of Delhi Tour for Forging Opposition Unity, Nitish Calls on Lalu

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Ahead of Delhi Tour for Forging Opposition Unity, Nitish Calls on Lalu
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met RJD president Lalu Prasad here on Monday, ahead of a scheduled visit to Delhi where he will meet leaders from various political affiliations in a bid to forge opposition unity.

Kumar drove to the 10, Circular Road residence of Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, a former CM herself, where he was welcomed by their younger son Tejashwi Yadav, who is currently the Deputy Chief Minister.

“Respected Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ji came to our residence to meet RJD national president Lalu Prasad,” Yadav tweeted, sharing pictures of the two erstwhile arch rivals. Prasad, who is in poor shape and is awaiting a kidney transplant in Singapore, appeared to have recovered from a shoulder injury he suffered in July as he came to meet Kumar with his arm unbandaged.

In an imagery symbolic of both personal and political equations, the CM and the Deputy CM can be seen in one of the pictures helping a faltering Prasad to climb down a few steps. Kumar, who snapped his ties with the BJP less than a month ago, has vowed to bring together a disjointed opposition comprising various parties across the country for a good fight to the saffron party in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

He received support from Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao last week when the latter flew down to the Bihar capital, met him and Prasad and gave the call for a “BJP-mukt Bharat”. Kumar, however, is not impressed with the concept of a “third front” and is in favour of taking along the Congress which is now moribund, yet retains a presence that is hard to overlook.

At a two-day conclave of his JD(U) here over the weekend, the party said it was not in favour of a “non-Congress, non-BJP alternative” which was suggested by Rao, whose Telangana Rashtra Samithi faces competition in the southern state from the grand old party as well as the saffron party. Kumar is currently heading a seven-party coalition that includes the Congress and the Left. In his pro-Congress stance, Kumar is likely to receive ample support from Prasad who is known to share excellent personal equations with Sonia Gandhi.

In Delhi, he is scheduled to meet former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, among others. Known to be a master in the art of negotiation, Kumar is expected to put to use his skills to iron out the differences between various anti-BJP parties.

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