Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is expected to skip Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's September 19 rally in Champaran district, where other top leaders including Bihar Chief Minister, of the grand alliance are likely to be present, reports on Monday said.
The Congress plans to make the proposed rally at Ram Nagar in West Champaran district a “mega” affair after the alliance’s rally in Patna on August 30, which was attended by Sonia Gandhi, Lalu and Nitish.
However, there are reports that Lalu may not attend the rally. He has not been on best of terms with Rahul ever since the Congress vice-president vetoed a UPA government’s ordinance to protect convicted legislators from disqualification in September 2013.
Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi downplayed reports of Rahul's unwillingness to share dais with the RJD leader and said that the upcoming rally at Champaran would prove that the grand alliance in Bihar is intact.
"Our alliance has moved ahead. We will be successful in defeating the BJP in Bihar Assembly elections. The allegation made by opposition is wrong that Rahul Gandhi is not sharing platform with the RJD. The Champaram rally will prove that the grand alliance is intact and successful," Tyagi told ANI.
Sources in Congress too sang the same tune. "It's a fact that Congress is fighting Bihar polls in alliance with JD(U) and RJD. The fact remains that Lalu Prasad is the leader of the RJD," a Congress leader said.
"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already shared the dais with Prasad and Kumar. When the party President has no problem, why will any leader have it," he said.
The rally is part of the Congress' year-long programme to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution.