Bihar CM flays Congress leader for meeting Lalu

With the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) set to firm up an alliance in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday questioned Rahul Gandhi’s stand on corruption.

“When he said the ordinance (against convicted legislators) needed to be torn up, we thought it meant something. We supported his stand. Some criticised him, but we backed him. But now it appears to be a farce,” Mr. Kumar said.

The Bihar CM was clearly hinting at a double standard after Mr. Gandhi met RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has been convicted in a fodder scam case and disqualified as an MP as a result.

Terming the tie-up of the two parties “a natural alliance”, Mr. Kumar said: “The Congress and the RJD have an old alliance. From every perspective, it is a natural alliance. Mr. Prasad was a minister in the United Progressive Alliance I. In UPA II, he was not given a ministerial berth, but the Congress maintained ties with him. Their minds and thoughts match. Had they not come together, it would have been a surprise.”

He also took exception to Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Kishanganj district to inaugurate a centre of Aligarh Muslim University, keeping the State government out of the function.

“They (the Congress) are such cowards! They must be afraid of what will happen if the State government participates. I don’t know what they want to project. But the people know that the State government made the land available for the university,” Mr. Kumar said.

Bihar Education Minister P.K. Shahi wrote to the Union Human Resources Development Ministry, objecting to the State government not being invited for the function. The Congress, however, has refuted the charge.