Patna, Nov 1: While RJD President Lalu Prasad has confirmed participation in the Samajwadi Party foundation day function on November 5 at Lucknow, JD(U) today made it clear that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would not be able to make it to the programme.
Absence of Nitish Kumar would dent Mulayam Singh Yadav's efforts to cobble up a broad coalition of socialist and secular forces ahead of crucial Uttar Pradesh poll early next year by parading prominent leaders on one platform at SP's 25th foundation day function.
Lalu's close aide Bhola Yadav, MLA, today confirmed RJD chief's participation in the SP function at Lucknow. Bihar JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh told PTI "there is fight within Samajwadi Party (SP) family and we do not want to be seen with any one side in this feud."
JD(U) Secretary General K C Tyagi said party chief would not be able to make it to November 5 event at Lucknow due to Chhath festival. "You know how important is Chhath festival for the people of Bihar...if he (Nitish Kumar) goes there leaving Chhath, BJP would attack him for not being with the people of the state on such a pious occasion," Tyagi told PTI.
Asked while Lalu Prasad is going for SP event and absence of Nitish Kumar would trigger difference among them, Basistha Narayan Singh said "we have strong coalition of JD(U), RJD and Congress in Bihar, but it does not mean that the three should have similar point of view in other states."
"Lalujee is related to Mulayam Singh Yadav's family and as such he has freedom to take his decision," he said.
The JD(U) chief, however, did not miss the opportunity to express heartburn over the role played by Mulayam Singh Yadav and SP to foil merger of six parties of Janata Parivar earlier in which Nitish Kumar had played an important role.
"Nitish Kumar had made a sincere efforts for merger and everybody had agreed to merge under the leadership of Mulayam Singh Yadav, but it did not succeed the reasons for which is known to everyone," he said.
"Today's circumstance is different," he said in an oblique reference to soaring popularity graph of Nitish Kumar after Bihar victory due to which he is considered as a potent candidate for Prime Ministerial post in 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Recently, Nitish Kumar at JD(U) National Council meet at Rajgir had made an overture to UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to enforce prohibition which would help him come out of "shadow of family" and also help win poll himself.
Kumar had also pledged support to young UP CM in such a condition.