Patna: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar will skip Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's September 19 rally in Bihar's Champaran district.
Instead of Nitish, JD (U) senior leader KC Tyagi will represent the party in the election rally.
Nitish's absence from Rahul's rally could spell trouble for the grand alliance in Bihar elections, as Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has also refused to share the stage with Rahul.
According to sources, Lalu Prasad was reluctant to share dais with the Congress vice president as he was unhappy with Rahul over the latter's political approach and stand on some issues.
The Champaran rally is meant to kick-start the Congress' election campaign in Bihar.
Lalu Prasad's relations with Rahul turned bitter after the latter openly objected to the then United Progressive Alliance government's ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers from disqualification in September 2013. Lalu has been convicted in the multi-crore fodder scam case by a CBI court in Ranchi.
The Champaran rally would be the first big show of the grand alliance after the 'Swabhiman rally' in Patna on August 30, which was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar.
The grand alliance, in which RJD and JD-U would contest 100 seats each and the Congress 40 seats, is in direct fight with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in Bihar polls.