On Tuesday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accused RJD chief and his arch-rival Lalu Prasad Yadav of being in touch with his fellow associates through the telephone in contravention of the rules applicable to those serving a prison sentence. Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap, however, denied the accusation made by Nitish Kumar saying that he himself has not spoken to his father for over a month.
Lalu Yadav is lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, Jharkhand, since December 2017 over Rs 900 crore fodder scam related to fraudulent withdrawal of money from treasuries in the Animal Husbandry department in early 1990 when Bihar and Jharkhand were one state and the RJD was in power with Yadav, the chief minister.
In an interview, Nitish Kumar said that 'Lalu keeps telephoning people, rules may be damned, and that this a well-known fact to everyone'. People meet Prasad on Saturdays, as per the jail manual, and Nitish Kumar is making a baseless allegation out of fear that he may be beaten during the Lok Sabha polls.
Currently, he is lodged at the RIMS hospital in Ranchi on account of multiple ailments.
The Bihar CM candidly also spoke about Prashant Kishor who joined the part last year, being catapulted to the post of national vice-president within a matter of time.
“I have excellent relations with Prashant and he has great regard for me. He also gets due respect in the party but if he has any misgivings, it is another matter”, said Kumar in response to a query of speculations for the same.
However, there were speculations that Kishor has fallen out of favor with the party boss, resulting in him being sidelined.
“He is not at all sidelined. He is among our campaigners for the Lok Sabha polls but in politics, things do happen”, he added referring to another speculation of Kishor being kept out of strategic decisions like the decision on candidates.
(With PTI inputs)