Nitish, Lalu not to share dias again

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Patna, May 30: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD President Lalu Prasad once again would not share the dais at a programme today triggering speculation of a logjam in the coming together of JD(U) and RJD.

The two, along with JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and other leaders, were scheduled to be present on the stage on the occasion of a "maharally" of Nishad (fishermen community) to project a united picture ahead of Bihar poll. Nitish Kumar, who was scheduled to inaugurate the maharally, today announced cancellation of his programme.

Bihar

When reporters asked him about skipping the rally in which he was to share dais with Lalu Prasad, Kumar said it was because of his recent eye operation. "I will not be able to make it to the programme due to laser surgery of my eye. I had informed organisers about it beforehand," Kumar told reporters.

The development has triggered speculation if everything was fine between the two amid suspense prevailing over the fate of merger or alliance between JD(U) and RJD ahead of crucial Bihar poll. But, Bihar Animal Husbandry department minister Baidyanath Sahni, who is playing an important role in organisation of the Nishad maharally at Gandhi Maidan today, said no politics should be read into it.

"Nitish jee will not be able to make it to the programme because of his recent eye operation and political meaning should not be be read into it," Sahni told PTI. He said JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh and other ministers and leaders of the two parties would be present on the occasion along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

This would be second occasion when Kumar would not be present with "Bade bhai" (elder brother) Lalu Prasad at a public platform after nearly two decades. On April 19 last, Kumar absented himself from a rally at the same venue in the state capital where he had to share the dais with the RJD chief.

PTI

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