Facing stiff challenge to see JD(U) candidates through in the coming bypoll for two Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, Nitish Kumar today appealed to arch rival Lalu Prasad, Congress and CPI to make common cause to "foil the game plan of BJP to destabilise the government".
"I have talked to Lalu Prasad, Congress state chief Ashok Choudhary, its legislature party leader Sadanand Singh and CPI secretary Rajendra Singh seeking their support for victory of two JD(U) candidates in the bypoll to Rajya Sabha in Bihar," Nitish Kumar told reporters at the JD(U) headquarters here.
The two JD(U) nominees - diplomat-politician Pawan Verma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi - are facing stiff challenge from independents - real estate baron Anil Sharma and Sabir Ali who are being backed by party rebels and BJP in the June 19 bypoll.
The party leader and former chief minister said he has appealed to the three secular parties to foil BJP's "design of destabilising the Jitan Ram Manjhi government and thrust an early election in Bihar".
Asked to comment on whether his approaching arch rival Lalu Prasad to bail out the JD(U) candidates was due to political compulsion, Kumar retorted "No it is because of political circumstance."
To another question on burying the hatchet and joining hands with Yadav now after spearheading the campaign against him during the past two decades, Kumar said "It is due to political circumstance as we have now to fight a common enemy in BJP which is mocking at us."
"BJP is the main conspirator in the RS bypoll (for supporting rebellion within JD-U and backing two Independents).It aims to destabilise the Jitan Ram Manjhi government and thrust an early election in Bihar," he said.
Arithmetic is weighing against ruling JD(U) in the bypoll. In Bihar assembly, whose effective strength at present is 232 due to 11 vacancies, JD(U) has 117 MLAs including the speaker, BJP 84, RJD 21, Congress 4, Independents 5 and CPI 1.
In normal circumstances the victory of JD(U) candidate was guaranteed but with a large number of its legislators turning rebels and supporting independents along with BJP, the vote of 21 RJD MLAs holds the key to the result in the bypoll.
Kumar said there was 'nothing unusual' in JD(U) making common cause with RJD, Congress and CPI in the RS bypoll as the three parties had voted for Jitan Ram Manjhi government in the confidence motion