K. Balchand

PATNA: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Sunday ruled out any difficulty in the path of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren taking over as Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Talking to journalists, Mr. Prasad shot down questions relating to the tough stand taken by the Independents in Jharkhand. “I’m in constant touch with them.”

He said his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, would not be part of the next government, and would lend support from outside.

NDA’s claim

As for the National Democratic Alliance’s claim of having the numbers in its favour, Mr. Prasad said it was free to approach the Raj Bhavan and stake claim. “None can stop them from doing that. The Constitution would decide the outcome.”

JD(U) attacked

Mr. Prasad lashed out at the Janata Dal (United) and the NDA government for submitting a petition to the Prime Minister regarding the purchase of land by his family members. “They are wasting their time on such frivolous issues rather than tackling the flood situation.”

He said the pieces of land were purchased and not usurped.

As for the allegation that witnesses in the disproportionate assets case had been favoured, Mr. Prasad pointed out that the witnesses had been recorded in 2002 and he had become the Railway Minister in 2004. “Do you mean to say I had granted favour in advance?”

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