Even as cracks appeared in the ruling Grand Alliance in Bihar following a war of words between JD(U) and RJD, Lalu Prasad on September 13 sought to play down the row, saying the flutter was a media creation even as he said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is the leader of the coalition.
But at the same time, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief defended the don-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin saying he didn’t make any derogatory comments.
Prasad said, “Nitish Kumar is the leader of the coalition,” after the Grand Alliance had nearly come to the precipice following RJD vice-president Raghubansh Prasad Singh’s comments on Kumar and his unflinching support to Shahabuddin. “The coalition is intact and there is no danger to it,” said Prasad.
While Lalu did not see anything very bad in what Shahabuddin said, the RJD chief didn’t appreciate Raghubansh Prasad Singh’s comments on Kumar.
To a query, Lalu replied, “Despite telling him repeatedly, Raghubansh Singh speaks something to media.” On this note, he said that he would speak to everybody within the party and tell them categorically not to make unnecessary comments about the coalition.
On Shahabuddin saying that for him Prasad is the leader and Kumar is the Chief Minister due to circumstance, the RJD chief said, “He is a member of the RJD, what is wrong if he says I am his leader?”
To a query, Lalu said Shahabuddin’s release was part of a judicial process and the government had no role to play in it. “Shahabuddin walked out of jail after 11 years after getting bail from the HC.”
When queried if he agreed to Shahabuddin’s remark that Kumar was only “circumstantial” Chief Minister, Prasad told the particular reporter not to irritate him.