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National News
Lalu attacks Nitish for painting grim picture of Grand Alliance
 
(Patna, Jan10, 2019): RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav Wednesday launched a blistering attack on his arch rival and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for having forecast that the Grand Alliance-- comprising opposition parties in the state --had no future. Prasad, who is serving sentence in a number of fodder scam cases in Ranchi, took exception to the remark made by Kumar earlier this week when reporters asked the CM about the prospects of ''Mahagathbandhan'', of which the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is the largest constituent.

"A person who is occupying his chair by virtue of the votes secured by Mahagathbandhan...is making a forecast on the future of the alliance," the RJD chief said on Twitter. Prasad is currently lodged at a hospital in Jharkhand and shares his views on politics through his official Twitter handle which is operated by people close to him. He also accused the chief minister of insulting the mandate of 11 crore Biharis and called him a ''shameless turncoat''.

Notably, besides dismissing the Grand Alliance as a coalition for which he saw no hope in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Kumar had also remarked that the bloated formation included people picked up from the road. The remark triggered a controversy as leaders of the RJD and RLSP alleged that this was tantamount to Vikassheel Insaan Party chief Mukesh Sahni, the latest entrant in the Grand Alliance, being called ''roadside'' and an insult to the Nishad community which he represented.

Kumar, who is also the JD(U) national president, had formed an alliance with Prasad ahead of the 2015 assembly polls, giving up years of bitter political hostility. The Grand Alliance thus formed also included the Congress and the coalition went on to win the elections with a thumping majority. While Kumar returned as chief minister, Prasad''s younger son Tejashwi Yadav was appointed Deputy CM, while elder son Tej Pratap Yadav got a state cabinet berth. However, Kumar grew uneasy after Tejashwi was named an accused in corruption and money laundering cases against several members of the Prasad family, including his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi.

The JD(U) chief walked out of the coalition in July, 2017 asserting that he could make no compromise on the issue of corruption, and formed a new government with the BJP, the party with which he had snapped more than a decade-old political ties in 2013 following differences over the projection of Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.


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