Nitish Kumar scotches rumours of differences with Lalu Prasad

Patna, July 13: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday dismissed speculation on differences cropping up between him and Lalu Prasad following the Legislative Council polls result and over his decision to not attend the 'Iftar' party being hosted by the RJD supremo tonight.

Kumar said he will not be able to attend Prasad's 'Iftar' party as he has to fly to New Delhi this afternoon for a host of engagements, including taking part in tonight's 'Iftar' party being hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Also read: Nitish accuses BJP of fomenting 'communal tension' in Bihar

Nitish has no differences with Lalu

"Sonia Gandhi's invite for 'Iftar' party had come first and I had made plans accordingly. I cannot be at two places simultaneously. I am going to Delhi to attend her 'Iftar' party for which the RJD supremo has consented and asked me to go to the function in the national capital," Kumar told reporters.

Brushing aside rumours of differences between him and Prasad, Kumar said, there was "no political reason" for his going to Delhi and not attending Prasad's 'Iftar' party.

There was speculation about differences between the two leaders after the NDA fared better than the secular alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress in the Legislative Council polls.

On his engagements in New Delhi over the next couple of days, the chief minister said he will attend a meeting of Niti Ayog on July 15.

Sonia Gandhi's invite for 'Iftar' party had come first: Nitish

He also has a tentative programme to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who has sought appointment to meet him through the JD(U) national general secretary K C Tyagi.

With Kejriwal being locked in a turf war with the Centre on a host of issues, the senior JD(U) leader empathised with his Delhi counterpart, saying, the central government was "not allowing" an elected state government to work freely.

"The Delhi government is being prevented from working by the Centre. It can't even make appointment for the post of Chief Secretary and Secretaries," Kumar rued.

He wondered why there should be an elected state government when it can't have freedom to work or take decision on governance-related issues.


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