Janata parivar leaders discuss land bill

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New Delhi, Mar 27: Janata parivar leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav met on Friday to chalk out joint protests against the controversial land bill.

"We discussed our strategy against the land bill as we are opposed to it. We reject it outright," JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said after the meeting. 


Sources said the discussions also covered merger of offshoots of Janata parivar (family) but more deliberations would be held later as the immediate agenda was to evolve a larger opposition against the land bill.

[Surprised by rumours against land acquisition bill: PM]

Earlier in the day, Kumar met Congress President Sonia Gandhi, whose party backed him during the recent crisis in the ruling JD(U) in Bihar and the two parties could tie up in the Assembly elections later this year in the state.

[Let there be a national debate on Land Bill: Venkaiah Naidu]

Kumar also drove down to Tihar jail to see INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala. He had a luncheon meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"Nitish ji has welcomed the rise of Kejriwal and the AAP convener had invited him for lunch," party leader and MP K C Tyagi said. 

After meeting Chautala, Kumar said that the INLD chief was a senior leader of the erstwhile Janata Parivar and he had come to Tihar to see him as they shared good relations for a long time.

This was the first time Kumar met Gandhi after replacing Jitan Ram Manjhi as the state chief minister. Tyagi said it was a courtsey call as Congress had supported Kumar in Bihar.

Gandhi today came out strongly against the bill and rejected the government's offer to talk over it, saying if the Centre was sincere, then it should have consulted the opposition earlier.

Kumar, a known detractor of Modi, is considered a key opposition face. His party had declared its support for AAP during Delhi Assembly polls and had not fielded any candidate in the state.

He had yesterday met Modi here for the first time since he ended his party's 17-year-old alliance with BJP nearly two years ago after he was chosen as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate.

BJP had virtually decimated the "secular alliance" in Bihar, bagging 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 elections. That debacle had forced Kumar and Prasad to come together later.


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