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Nitish thanks Lalu for support; appeals for unity against BJP

PTI 20 Jun 2014, 15:30:06 IST
Patna: Buoyed by RJD's support to JD(U) in the Rajya Sabha election, former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said all parties should unite to check the motives of BJP.

Kumar thanked RJD president Lalu Prasad and said BJP's game plan to destabilise the Jitan Ram Manjhi government was over now and victory of the two JD(U) candidates was certain.

He also thanked Congress and CPI for extending support to his party in the polls and appealed to the dissidents to return to JD(U).

“I thank Lalu Prasad and RJD for supporting us. I had appealed to him three days ago to support us and check BJP's game plan to destabilise Jitan Ram Manjhi government,” Kumar told reporters.

“I also thank Congress and CPI for extending their support to us. All political parties should unite to check the motives of the BJP,” he said.

JD(U) has nominated former diplomat Pawan Kumar Varma and veteran leader Ghulam Rasool Baliyawi as candidates for the two RS seats, which fell vacant due to resignations of Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Kripal Yadav after they got elected to Lok Sabha.

On the other hand, dissident legislators of JD(U) have propped up industrialist Sabir Ali and real estate baron Anil Sharma as Independent candidates in the bye-election, posing a stiff challenge to the official candidates of their party.

Bihar Assembly has a strength of 243 of which 11 seats are vacant, bringing down the effective strength to 232. A candidate needs at least 117 votes to win if all legislators cast their votes.

As of now, JD(U) has 117 MLAs including the Speaker and the dissidents, BJP 84, RJD 21, Congress 4 and CPI 1. There are 4 Independents.

Party sources have put the strength of JD(U) dissidents to be around 20.

Appealing to the dissidents to be with the party, Kumar said, “You all should understand the game being played by BJP and come back. Party is like one's mother and one cannot run away. If they have deviated under the influence of others, they should return.”

Kumar accused BJP for indulging in efforts to destabilise the state government and using unfair means to break away JD(U) legislators.

“All conspiracies were hatched at the house of BJP leaders. They openly tried to break our party by making all sorts of promises, adopting all sorts of tricks,” he alleged.

The former Chief Minister said these things do not remain hidden in politics and BJP's plans suffered a jolt after RJD declared its support for JD(U).