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Lalu, Nitish Take Potshots at At Each Other

Patna:With the Bihar assembly election dates announced, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his arch rival Lalu Prasad took potshots at each other on Thursday  over various issues, including contesting the polls.  "Lalu is a person
PTI September 09, 2010 23:54 IST
PTI
Patna:With the Bihar assembly election dates announced, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his arch rival Lalu Prasad took potshots at each other on Thursday  over various issues, including contesting the polls.  

"Lalu is a person of excessive credulous belief...I hardly care for his statement," Kumar told reporters here, sharply reacting to Prasad's potshot against him for his inclination not to contest the poll.  

To buttress his point, Kumar recalled that Prasad had once said that since he (CM) had a biscuit on the occasion of eclipse, the state had to face "severe drought conditions".  Kumar asked the RJD chief to explain as to who had stopped him (Lalu) from contesting the polls.  "I don't take what Lalu says seriously," Kumar said.  

But Prasad said Kumar's statement that he was unlikely to contest the elections had proved that the chief minister had conceded defeat "much before the elections".  Talking to reporters, the chief ministerial candidate of RJD-LJP alliance said, "In fact, Kumar has lost confidence...he is proving to be a ranchhor (battle-deserter) commander with the NDA defeat becoming certain in the coming elections.  

"In the event of RJD-LJP alliance coming to power, the first thing I will do is to go directly to the people for their mandate (to get elected from an assembly seat) for holding the job assigned to me."  

CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat, who was also in the state capital this morning, said his party preferred that persons must enter the precincts of parliament or state legislature through elections.  

When Kumar's attention was drawn to Lalu's reaction, he said "if this is so why Prasad is waiting till elections... he should rush to Raj Bhavan to take oath as chief minister." Kumar, however, hastened to recall that Prasad had become "mock PM" in Lok Sabha "and there is no harm if he becomes mock CM here".  

On Kumar's charge of RJD having "understanding" with the Congress and because of this, Lalu has been allotted a seat in Lok Sabha in the front row, Prasad lost his cool and said the seat had been allotted to him by the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar because of my being in politics since 1977 and also he was former chief minister and railway minister.  

Kumar earlier said there was no no more proof required to vindicate his stand that the RJD and Congress had "pact". "People know the fact very well and will give a befitting reply to Prasad," he said. "In fact, the BJP and Congress are hand in glove that we have highlighted in parliament," Prasad said.  

For Prasad and Kumar, Congress seems to have the central point of attack. Lalu Prasad told reporters that the Congress did not not have its "identity and existence in Bihar and the grand old party is contesting the elections in the state for the sake of building its organisation". PTI