The Telegraph
Saturday , February 1 , 2014
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Cong threat triggers duel

Patna, Jan. 31: The war of words between the JD(U) and the Congress has escalated after clear signals that chief minister Nitish Kumar was trying to unite non-Congress and non-BJP outfits with the Congress cosying up to the RJD and the LJP.

“Those (read Congress) talking about withdrawing the support from the JD(U) government in Bihar are tuchcha (not important) and behuda (nonsense),” JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav said, while reacting on a section of the Congress leaders’ threat to withdraw support to Nitish.

Congress’s four MLAs had extended support to Nitish in the Assembly after the JD(U)-BJP split.

The current spell of the acrimony between the two parties began when the Centre, initially, did not invite the chief minister at the Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s programme of laying the foundation stone of Aligarh Muslim University’s centre at Kishanganj.

The Centre eventually invited Nitish at the event following latter’s strong outbursts and the chief minister attended the foundation laying ceremony. But the bitterness did not end with Nitish attacking the Congress for betraying the cause of Bihar by denying it the special status and daring Sonia Gandhi’s party to withdraw its support to him.

Sharad, who had a long meeting with the chief minister at 1 Aney Marg in connection with chalking out a strategy for the Lok Sabha polls, followed up on Nitish’s attack on the Congress with nearly abusive words. Sharad’s utterances drew sharp reaction from the Congress, too, with the party’s media in-charge, Premchand Mishra, questioning the bringing up of the JD(U) boss.

“He (Sharad) is the national president of a party. But his words reflect the atmosphere and culture in which he has been brought up. We cannot stoop so low in matching what he has uttered,” Mishra said.

He added that Sharad’s words reflected the “state of dejection” the JD(U) has fallen in at the possibility of the Congress not striking a poll alliance with it.

“We are afraid that the JD(U) might again drift towards the communal forces. They are preparing the background to go back to the BJP fold by stepping up attack on the Congress without any reason,” Mishra added.