Patna, June 13: The JDU appears to be relying on a bailout by the RJD with the countdown to the Rajya Sabha bypolls on after the withdrawal of the BJP candidate.
The new road construction minister, Rajiv Ranjan alias Lallan Kumar, said the RJD supporting the JDU to prevent BJP succeed in its “destructive politics” in Bihar was a natural course for the party to take. “The RJD has been a committed force in trying to weaken the BJP,” he said on Friday. A couple of days ago, the state president of the party had declared that he expected the RJD to vote for the JDU candidates, as it was a secular party.
However, the problem of the JDU is that the RJD is keeping its cards close to its chest. The RJD has 21 MLAs and its support means safe sailing of the JDU candidates Pawan Kumar Varma and Ghulam Rasool Balyavi.
“There have been no talks between the RJD and the JDU over the Rajya Sabha polls. Our party has not taken any decision on the issue,” said RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
The RJD, which initially said it would not issue any whip to its MLAs for the bypoll on June 19, changed its stance and declared that Lalu would take the final call.
RJD leaders appeared amused at JDU leaders reminding them about the “secular” stand it should take on the issue. “The JDU did not consider us secular when there was talks of fielding Rabri Devi as one of the candidates for the Rajya Sabha,” said a senior RJD leader, alleging that the JDU had behaved arrogantly whenever the RJD tried to bail it out.
On May 23, when the Jitan Ram Manjhi government sought a confidence motion in the Assembly, the RJD had extended unconditional support. “But later, JDU leaders started making statements that there will be no alliance with the RJD,” the leader recalled. A meeting of JDU national office-bearers even passed a resolution to this effect.
The JDU’s uneasiness over seeking support from the RJD is being mocked by the BJP leaders. “The JDU virtually panicked when the RJD announced its support in the Assembly. They started to make statements against the RJD. Now, that the JDU faces defeat in the Rajya Sabha they are again saying that the JDU and the RJD come from the same school,” said BJP MLA Sanjay Singh Tiger, alleging that the JDU was letting go of all its principles to get support from the RJD.
BJP leaders said if the telephone calls of consumer affairs minister Shyam Rajak were to tapped, it would be found that he had spoken several times with Lalu.