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Dal leader advises Nitish to retire

Patna, Aug. 19: Senior JDU leader Shakuni Choudhary today asked former chief minister Nitish Kumar to retire from politics and predicted that both Nitish and Lalu would be ruined in coming days.

In political circles, the comment is being seen as a setback to JDU ahead of the Assembly bypolls.

Shakuni’s (69) comment has not gone well even with son Samrat Choudhary, the rural development department minister in the Jitan Ram Manjhi government.

“Both Nitish and Lalu would be ruined in coming days as their alliance is full of arrogance. Both leaders are arrogant and their destruction is almost sure,” said Shakuni.

Asked about his father’s comment against Nitish, Samrat said: “I am with the decision made by Nitishji, nothing more than that.”

JDU state president Bashishtha Narayan Singh said: “Shakuni is a senior party leader and he has stated his personal opinion. There is no question of taking any action against him. But if there is any problem, the party will sort out the matter.”

Shakuni had joined JDU before the Lok Sabha poll after RJD denied him Lok Sabha ticket from Khagaria. The son led a rebellion against RJD chief Lalu Prasad by getting 13 party MLAs unattached, while the father, a long-time Lalu loyalist, dubbed his leader and termed him a dictator who promoted dynasty in the party.

A livid Shakuni said: “I did not go to Nitish’s house to take me in the party. In fact, he came to me and requested me to join the party. Everyday, Nitish is being humiliated by Lalu in his rallies. If Nitish has even a little bit of shame and self-respect, he should better retire from the politics.”

Shakuni is two-time MP from the Khagaria parliamentary seat, once during Samata Party and again during the Lalu-Rabri regime.

When Shakuni officially joined the JDU on March 12, it was speculated that the party would field him from Khagaria but it did not happen and the ticket was offered to sitting MP Dinesh Chandra Yadav.

Yet again, JDU has fielded Ramanand Prasad Singh, a Bhumihar candidate for the Parbatta seat, one of 10 seats where bypolls are taking place, which was earlier occupied by Samrat Choudhary.

“One should not join a party just to get a ticket. He should be more than happy that Nitishji made his son a minister, what more can he expect,” said a senior JDU leader, on the condition of anonymity.