Bihar: Nitish Kumar downplays Lalu's 'doors are always open' remark

I maintain good relations with allies and leaders of Opposition parties, says chief minister

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (photo: IANS)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (photo: IANS)


A day after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav caused a flutter by saying "doors were always open for Nitish Kumar", Bihar chief minister on Saturday, downplayed the issue and said he "maintained good relations with allies as well as opponents".

The Janata Dal (United) chief was replying to questions from journalists on the remark by Lalu Prasad, with whom he was seen warmly shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries inside the assembly premises on Thursday. "I maintain good relations with allies and leaders of Opposition parties. I shake hands with them whenever I meet them. That's all", Kumar said.

The CM said, "I don't think of who says what... Things were not going well, so I left them (RJD)".

On Friday, Lalu Prasad said, "doors are always open" for Nitish Kumar, days after the latter parted ways with the grand alliance.

Asked whether he will give another chance to Nitish in future, Lalu had said, "Ab aayenge toh dekhenge. Doors are always open". Asked about a cabinet expansion, Kumar said, "Ho jayega (It will be done). Sab theek chal raha hai (things are going smoothly".

Sources in the NDA on Saturday indicated that Nitish Kumar's cabinet will be further expanded in two-three days to accommodate legislators belonging to other castes, minorities groups and women.

Those who are expected to be included in the cabinet are BJP leaders Shahnawaz Hussain, Nitin Nabin, Rampreet Paswan, Janak Ram, Shreyashi Singh and JD (U) leaders Sunil Kumar Singh, Madan Sahni, Lesi Singh, Sheila Mandal, Jayant Raj, Ashok Choudhary, said a senior leader of JD(U) on the condition of anonymity.

Responding to queries about the state government's latest order to review all decisions taken by the departments headed by former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and two RJD ministers Lalit Yadav and Ramanand Yadav, the CM said, "Irregularities (gadbadiyaan) have taken place ... we will not tolerate this. Things are being investigated. I will keep doing development works for the overall growth of the state."

In a letter dated 16 February, issued by the cabinet secretariat department headed by the CM, officials of the health, road construction, urban development and housing and rural works departments have been asked to review the decisions taken during the previous grand alliance government in the state. These departments were headed by Tejashwi Yadav.

Besides, the government has also asked top officials of public health engineering department (PHED) and mines and geology department to review the decisions taken by former RJD ministers- Lalit Yadav and Ramanand Yadav - in the previous government.

Kumar also said he agreed with the forecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the BJP-led coalition will win more than 400 seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

"Yes, BJP will definitely win more seats this time compared to Lok Sabha seats it won in the 2019 polls. Mujhe Pura Bharosa Hai (I am fully confident)".

On alleged cracks in the opposition INDIA alliance, Kumar said, "They (leaders of INDIA bloc) were not doing anything that is the reason that cracks are developing. The name (INDIA) given to this alliance was not my choice at all. They decided on their own. Now, I have nothing to do with them. I am back here (NDA). Now, I am not bothered about what they are saying".

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines