Zee Media Bureau
Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Tuesday alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had conspired to split his party to save his government, which is in a minority.
After 16 of the 22 RJD legislators attended a meeting of its legislature party here on Tuesday afternoon at the official residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi, Lalu Prasad announced that he would expose the conspiracy to split his party by Nitish Kumar.
According to RJD leaders close to Lalu Prasad, four rebel legislators did not attend the legislature party meeting and two failed to turn up as they were in their constituencies.
Before flying to Patna from New Delhi, Lalu Prasad had told reporters at the airport that the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party are conspiring to split his party.
Baffled ahead of crucial Lok Sabha elections, Lalu said that “what Nitish Kumar has done is similar to America`s Watergate scandal.”
Lalu arrived here from New Delhi this morning and accused Nitish Kumar of offering lucrative posts to his party legislators to create fissures.
"Nitish Kumar is eyeing RJD legislators and offering them lucrative posts to split the party," Lalu Prasad told media persons here.
He also accused Bihar Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary of being involved in the conspiracy to split the RJD.
However, Lalu Prasad claimed that 9 of 13 legislators had returned to the party fold and denied any split.
Taking on JD(U), BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, meanwhile, said if indeed Nitish Kumar`s party is involved in trying to split RJD, it shows how anxious and worried they are.
Earlier, RJD member Javed Ansari had told a news agency that he along with 12 other legislators signed a letter and submitted it to Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary, requesting him to allot them separate seats in the Assembly.
Choudhary accepted the letter and identified them as a separate group in the house, he said. The RJD has 22 members in the 243-member house.
Ansari also said the 13 were intending to join the ruling Janata Dal-United.
RJD chief whip Samrat Choudhary also said 13 of the 22 legislators were no longer with the party.
RJD leader in the Assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui later presented six of these 13 legislators before the media at the party office here, and said the rumour was spread to create confusion in the RJD.
"It is an act of mischief and fraud by someone for greed of red beacons and plum posts," he said, blaming the JD(U) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the "rumour".
"It`s a fact that the Nitish Kumar government is in minority and he badly needs support of more legislators to ensure a stable government," he said.
"It will be clear in the meeting (on Tuesday) how many legislators are with the party," he said.
Asked about the split in the party, Lalu Prasad said he will talk to the legislators as communalism was a threat to India.
(With IANS inputs)