Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called on Lalu Prasad, as the RJD supremo landed in his hometown after seven months, amid speculations that the two leaders will jointly work towards forging a country-wide opposition unity to take on the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Kumar drove to the residence of Rabri Devi, former chief minister and wife of Prasad, late on Friday evening, hours after the RJD supremo arrived.
Prasad had been away for close to seven months, during which he underwent a kidney transplant in Singapore and convalesced at his eldest daughter Misa Bharti's house in Delhi. It was not known what transpired during the meeting between the two veteran leaders that lasted for less than half an hour. Known as ‘bada bhai-chhota bhai’ (big brother-little brother) in the political lexicon of Bihar, the RJD chief and the JD(U) supreme leader have been close associates since the ‘JP Movement’ of the 1970s when both were student leaders.
The political stock of the two OBC leaders rose in the post-Mandal era, which also saw them parting ways and bitterly fighting each other for decades. The two came together in August last year when Kumar junked the BJP, a domineering ally, but retained power thanks to the prompt offer of support from Prasad, whose party has the largest number of MLAs in Bihar.