Patna: Holding the key to bypoll for two Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, RJD, which has been approached by JD(U) to ensure victory of its candidates in view of potential challenge from rebels and BJP, on Monday decided to hold its Legislature party meeting here tomorrow to firm up strategy.
RJD Legislature party meeting has been called at 10 Circular Road residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi tomorrow, party Legislators said.
While stand on June 19 voting will be firmed up tomorrow, some RJD MLAs personally were against acceding to the appeal by Nitish Kumar accusing him of "damaging" party and Prasad time and again.
Incidentally, JD(U) has also called its Legislature party meeting at One Anne Marg residence of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, across the road to the RJD venue, tomorrow at 6:30 pm.
RJD Legislature party has authorised Lalu Prasad to take a decision on voting for RS bypoll and the latter said he would take a decision after consulting party Legislators.
Burying two decades of rivalry, Nitish Kumar had rang up Lalu Prasad on Friday, appealing to him to support JD(U) candidates--diplomat-politician Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi--in RS bypoll to foil the challenge posed by the rebels and BJP.
Kumar also had telephonic talks with Congress and CPI leaders for forging a unity of secular forces against BJP.
In Bihar Assembly whose effective strength at present is 232 with 11 vacancies, ruling JD(U) has 117 MLAs including Speaker, BJP 84, RJD 21, Congress 4, Independents 5 and CPI 1.
Given its strength, victory for JD(U)`s two candidates against Independents would not have been a big deal. But, with a sizeable section of JD(U) MLAs turning rebel and openly supporting nomination of Independents--real estate baron Anil Sharma and Sabir Ali--and BJP indicating help to them, the situation is dicey for Nitish Kumar`s party.
RJD`s Bhai Birendra, Dinesh Kumar Singh and Akhtarul Islam Sahin spoke against Nitish Kumar`s appeal.
They, however, made it clear that Lalu Prasad`s decision would be abided by everybody.
Dinesh Kumar Singh, RJD MLA from Jagdishpur in Bhojpur district, told that he was personally against any truck with Nitish Kumar.
"When RJD had voted for Manjhi government in confidence motion, Nitish Kumar, Manjhi and others had made fun of us and Lalu Prasad saying that they did not seek support and RJD was extending support on its own," he said.
He further questioned "had Nitish Kumar consulted Lalu Prasad before deciding name of RS candidates?"
Sahin and Bhai Birendra also pointed to the "irresponsible" statements by JD(U) on RJD voting for Manjhi.