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Amid raids on Lalu, Bihar CM Nitish cancels his Lok Samvad programme


Patna, July 10: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday cancelled his public interface event and a subsequent press conference scheduled for Monday citing health grounds. Kumar's decision triggered the speculation that he wanted to avoid the media in the light of a series of CBI raids on Lalu Prasad, his ally in the Bihar government.

Bihar Chief Minister has been conspicuous by his silence on the matter, though Congress and TMC expressed solidarity with the RJD supremo. CBI conducted raids on properties owned by Lalu and his family members in four different cities in connection with a corruption case.

Lalu Prasad Yadav along with Nitish Kumar

"The Lok Samvad programme, which was scheduled for Monday, stands cancelled due to an indisposition of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar," said an official release. It said the JD(U) chief was down with fever.

Lok Samvad is a public interface programme of Kumar held every Monday. It is aimed at collecting the feedback of the people on the implementation of the development schemes and gather new ideas to strengthen 'sushasan' (good governance).

After the Lok Samvad programme, the chief minister holds a press conference. While Kumar has maintained a studied silence on the issue of raids on Lalu's family, another ally Congress has expressed solidarity with the RJD chief and accused the central BJP government of "misusing" the official machinery.

The RJD, Congress and JD(U) are partners in the Grand Alliance government in Bihar, headed by Kumar.

A report from Rajgir, where Kumar has been staying since Thursday due to health reasons, said the chief minister visited the famous tourist spot of Ghora Katora, but the media was not allowed inside during his visit.

When contacted, Bihar JD(U) chief spokesman Sanjay Singh and spokesman Neeraj Kumar refused to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, RJD ministers and leaders kept rushing to Rabri Devi's residence in support of the party's first family.

RJD ministers Chandrika Rai, Abdul Gafoor, state party chief Ramchandra Purbe and a host of others were seen going inside Rabri Devi's house.


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