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Sonia Gandhi tries to mediate between Lalu and Nitish

Agencies: In an attempt to defuse the heightened tension between the two warring partners of Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today called both Lalu and Nitish to discuss the current political scenario in the state.

The top Congress leader’s desperate attempt to save the crumbling grand alliance comes after Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) made it clear that the party is ready to walk out of the government if Lalu’s son Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav fails to come out clean over corruption allegations.

JD (U) spokesperson Ajay Alok told India Today that the party was not power hungry and that it was more concerned about Nitish’s image. “Nitish is the leader of Mahagathbandhan, no one else. Those who are threatening of having 80 MLAs with them should not be in any kind of confusion. It will not take us even 5 minutes to quit government, power,” JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said.

With the JD(U) serving an ultimatum to Lalu’s RJD, sources said the next 72 hours are going to be crucial for Tejashwi Yadav as he would need to come out with a point-to-point rebuttal of disproportionate allegations levelled against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Tejashwi had earlier virtually ruled out his resignation, while dubbing the FIR registered against him under various anti-graft provisions as ‘political vendetta’. “The FIR (in land-for-hotels case) is part of a political vendetta. BJP president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are conspiring against me and family members out of political reasons,” Yadav had in Patna. “Everybody knows that they (BJP) are afraid of Laluji. But, it was not known that they are afraid of even a youth of 28 years of age,” he added.

 

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