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Lalu restrains RJD men from criticising Nitish in media


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Patna, Feb 14 (IANS) All is not well within Bihar’s ruling Grand Alliance — and, perceiving the growing uneasiness, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday advised his party legislators to first talk to him before going to the media to air their grievances relating to the three-party formation.

Sensing growing tension within the Grand Alliance — comprising the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress –after his party legislators repeatedly questioned and attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his "Saat Nischay" (seven resolves) programme, Lalu Prasad tried to play the peacemaker.

The RJD chief told media persons here that he has asked his party MLAs not to issue statements about anything without consulting him. "I have asked them not to give statements in the media and talk to me first about their grievances or whatever it is," he said.

Lalu Prasad said this after some JD-U leaders expressed displeasure over several RJD legislators attacking Nitish Kumar and his government’s seven resolves programme and the legislators’ funds.

JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh said targeting of the Nitish Kumar-led government by the RJD legislators was not good for the Grand Alliance. "Some leaders of RJD have been doing everything to defame the state government. JD-U will not tolerate this any more."

Singh, considered close to Nitish Kumar, said the RJD cannot cite any instance of a JD-U leader criticising Lalu Prasad ever since their alliance came into existence in 2015. "If JD-U leaders have not targeted and attacked Laluji, why should JD-U tolerate such acts by RJD leaders?"

Another JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said: "We can’t tolerate criticism by those who are part of the government led by Nitish Kumar. It is not proper to criticise one’s own government."

Last month, in a show of unity in the Grand Alliance, its top leaders, including Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad, senior JD-U leader Sharad Yadav and state Congress President Ashok Choudhary, attended a "Lok Samvad" meet here.

Seeking to lay to rest speculations of differences within the ruling coalition, they claimed that the alliance stands united. This was the first-ever show of unity since the JD-U-RJD-Congress Grand Alliance came into existence in November 2015 to form the government led by Nitish Kumar.

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