Last Updated: Sunday, May 18, 2014, 16:03
Patna: Speculations are rife about realignment of old Janata parivar members to form the next government in Bihar after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's resignation in the wake of severe drubbing his party suffered at the hands of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
The speculations are doing the rounds here after rumours of talks between Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad and Kumar and Prasad here.
Prasad has denied holding talks with either of the JD(U) leaders. "These are baseless and concocted news. I did not talk to anybody," he said.
RJD is keeping a close watch over developments in Bihar, Prasad told reporters, adding he has called a meeting of his party legislators tomorrow to discuss the political situation.
Asked about possibility of supporting Nitish Kumar if he is re-elected by JD(U) in its legislature party meeting today, Prasad said "Its an internal matter of JD(U) and we have nothing to do with it."
Reminded of his May 16 comment that secular forces should come together, he said it was in the larger context of the national level.
Congress is in touch with JD(U) for 'continuation of a secular government in Bihar in order to keep communal forces led by BJP out of power'.
"Congress is keeping an eye over the development in Bihar and its high command will take a decision at the appropriate time," state Congress media-in charge Prem Chand Mishra told PTI.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, who arrived here ahead of the crucial JD(U)LP meeting, earlier in the day held talks in Delhi with Congress leadership which is understood to have assured him support in the new government formation in Bihar.
The JD(U)LP meeting, scheduled at 4 pm at the chief minister's official residence, will elect its new leader following Kumar's resignation, he told reporters at Patna airport.
"Our entire party including Kumar will participate in the meeting. The legislators will decide who will be the new leader," Yadav said.
He did not rule out the possibility when asked whether Kumar could be re-elected the JD(U)LP leader. "I myself had resigned earlier. Nitish Kumar had also resigned when he was the union railways minister. Whatever the party decides, it will be supreme," added Yadav.
A group of JD(U) legislators have assembled at the
residence of senior party minister Narendra Singh, considered a potential replacement of Kumar.
Singh, who had skipped the cabinet meeting a day before declaration of the results on May 16 and had on many occasions talked against the style of functioning of Nitish Kumar government, denied being in the race.
Stating he would work to bring back Kumar and would press reporters at his residence "Nitish Kumar has 80 per cent good qualities and 20 per cent 'kami' (drawbacks) which he will try to overcome."
"I will propose the name of Nitish Kumar to again become CM of the state," he said and denied being in touch with BJP.
He also met Sharad Yadav at the state guest house.
Senior minister Vijay Chaudhary, who is also being talked of as another probable replacement of Kumar, also denied being in he race for chief ministership.
"Bebuniyad baat hain..Mai koi race me nahi hun (these are baseless talks, I am in no race)," he told reporters.
JD(U) MLA Anil Kumar who was at Singh's house with other legislators of the party said they would put pressure on Kumar to continue. "We had got the mandate in 2010 for five years under Nitish Kumar and hence he will continue to lead the government for the rest of the term."
Many JD(U) supporters and legislators have also assembled at the 1, Anne Marg residence of Kumar to prevail upon him to reconsider his decision.
Upbeat BJP legislators and leaders have on the other hand flocked at the residence of senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi to keep a watch over the emerging political situation in the state.
In the midst of the fast paced political developments, there were reports circulating about Kumar vacating his official residence. But official sources dismissed them.
"We will allot an alternative arrangement to Nitish Kumar only after a new notification is issued," Chanchal Kumar, Secretary, Building Construction department said.
First Published: Sunday, May 18, 2014, 16:03