Patna: Bihar's JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance has turned into a sinking ship after Samajwadi Party's exit, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Sunday.
"The grand alliance is a sinking ship as its captain Mulayam Singh Yadav has deserted it ahead of Bihar Assembly polls," he told reporters.
Prasad trashed JD(U) state unit president Bashisth Narayan Singh's alleged remark that the SP chief had walked out of the grand alliance under pressure from the BJP and said it was an "insult" to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
He said Singh's remark reflected the "desperation" in the alliance.
Asked if Mulayam's decision to exit the coalition was the outcome of reported meetings between top SP and BJP leaders recently, Prasad, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, shot back, saying "in that case RJD supremo Lalu Prasad should then explain why he along with the SP chief had received Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his daughter's wedding earlier this year.
"What to make of the photo of Lalu and Mulayam receiving the Prime Minister at Lalu's daughter's wedding function earlier this year?" Prasad said, noting that such meetings between leaders had no bearing on political decisions.
He claimed the RJD supremo was now trying to mollify his SP counterpart by giving a few more seats from JD(U) and Congress quotas.
Prasad assailed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for criticising Modi's Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for Bihar and following that up with his own Rs 2.7 lakh crore vision document for development of the state over the next five years.
The Minister wondered why Kumar had been demanding a special package for Bihar from the Centre when he had the capacity to raise funds for his own package.
Prasad accused Kumar and Lalu of trying to prevent the
Prime Minister from fast-tracking Bihar's development to sustain their politics rooted in "dynasty, opportunism and patronage to corruption".
Lalu, he alleged, was speaking the language he used to speak in the 1990s to "create social strife and put different castes on a collision course".
The Union Minister claimed the wind of change blowing in Bihar was slowly transforming into a storm in favour of the NDA.
"The momentum is clearly swinging in the NDA's favour and it does not matter whether our adversaries are three or 30," he asserted.
Responding to questions from journalists, Prasad said the BJP parliamentary board would take a call on whether to project anybody as the chief ministerial face of the alliance. He said seat-sharing talks among NDA allies--BJP, LJP, RLSP and Hindustani Awam Morcha of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-- would be concluded amicably.