National

Nothing Extraordinary About JD(U) Conclave, Asserts Nitish Before Leaving For Delhi

The chief minister did not address these queries comprehensively, pointing out that he was running short of time, but quipped "the meeting is an annual affair. It is normal with nothing extraordinary about it".

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday asserted that the JD(U)'s two-day conclave in Delhi was a "normal" and "annual" affair with "nothing extraordinary" about it, debunking speculations of turmoil in his party.

Shortly before leaving for the National capital, where a meeting of the party's national office bearers later in the day will be followed by meetings of the national executive and national council on Friday, the JD(U) supreme leader paused for a moment when journalists posed to him queries about rumours doing the rounds for the past few days.

The rumours have primarily been about the impending resignation of JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan', for alleged proximity towards ally RJD at the expense of loyalty to his own party. A section of the media has even claimed that after having dumped the BJP in August last year, Kumar was now planning an about-turn.

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The chief minister did not address these queries comprehensively, pointing out that he was running short of time, but quipped "the meeting is an annual affair. It is normal with nothing extraordinary about it".

The septuagenarian made the utterances in the presence of his young deputy Tejashwi Yadav, the son and heir apparent of RJD president Lalu Prasad, who had accompanied his boss to a government function held here on the occasion of the birth anniversary of late BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

Kumar, who had allied with the BJP for long, has been open about the "personal" affinity he felt towards Jaitley and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and government functions held in their memory here continue despite his having snapped ties with the saffron party.

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Yadav, whose party's staunch rivalry with the BJP is well known, has made peace with the fondness his boss has for the aforementioned late leaders.

When journalists asked the RJD leader about the controversy, he shot back "It is all the work of a BJP-inclined media which is at work whenever our government in the state achieves something historic".

Yadav added, "The rumour mill was at work when our government conducted the caste survey and followed it up with rise in quotas for the deprived castes. Now, we have another feather in our cap with the cabinet approving government employee status for nearly 3.5 lakh contractual teachers".

The Deputy CM also rued that rumours about the JD(U) had persisted despite stout denials by more than one ministers who were also senior leaders of that party.

"I wonder what is so unusual about a Bihar-based party holding its meetings of national executive and national council in Delhi. Had we (RJD) not done the same last year", asked Yadav.

He also maintained that the INDIA coalition will face no difficulty in finalising seat-sharing in Bihar where five of its constituents, JD(U), RJD, Congress and three Left parties, form the state's ruling coalition.

Meanwhile, state BJP president Samrat Choudhary also turned up at the memorial of Arun Jaitley shortly afterwards and declared that his party's doors were "closed for Nitish Kumar".

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He also added "We have no interest in the rumblings in the JD(U)" and asserted "the BJP is focused on winning the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and the Bihar assembly elections due in 2025".

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