Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav over phone to try and save the Bihar Mahagathbandhan which has been jolted by the recent corruption charges against Lalu and his family. The party's state unit chief Nityanand Rai, while speaking to ABP News, said his party would offer "outside" support to Nitish, if breaks apart from the grand alliance. Our correspondent reports that the meeting came after yesterday's JD (U) meet in which it asked RJD to clear it stands on corruption charges levelled by CBI.
"It will be in his (Nitish) interest.in interest of his party and of course Bihar that he take a decision on his association at the earliest", Paswan told reporters here.
The spat between the two started after CBI filed an FIR following raids on the residence and properties of Yadavs in Patna and other parts of the country in connection with a land scam during Lalu's tenure as railway minister.
Confirming the development, Congress spokesperson Harendra Kumar Verma said, "Soniaji dialled Lalu and Nitish as she was anxious about their strained relationship and wanted them to be united".
It is true that the RJD's swagger is a bit clunky because the main opposition party in the state, the BJP, has already volunteered external support - siding with Nitish Kumar in a vote to keep him in office - if Lalu Yadav cuts off his supply.More news: Four pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified in Hong Kong
However, RJD sources in Patna told The Hindu that the party would completely back Mr Tejaswi Yadav.
"Nitish Kumar's assets are known to the world but on the other hand, what have you?" he asked Lalu, hinting at the illegality of his acquisitions. "Tejashwi Yadav must come up with valid explanations on the issue", JD (U) leader Ajay Alok said.
The CBI alleges Lalu had accepted a bribe in return for an IRCTC contract that he awarded to a hotel company.
Next week, Nitish Kumar will travel to Delhi to lead a meeting of his party's national executive which will be attended by about 400 JD (U) members.
A day after Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav's security personnel manhandled media persons, the Janata Dal (United) on Thursday dubbed the incident as unfortunate and said one should maintain calm in handling such situations.