Bid to broker patch-up between Lalu and Nitish on eve of maha rally on Aug 27

Report by: 
Durgadas Banerjee
Kolkata
17 Aug 2017

In order to contain the damages caused by the break-up between RJD and JD-U so that the rally called by RJD at Patna on August 27 can really emerge as a major platform for anti-BJP forces, efforts have been started to broker a patch-up between RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JDU chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been kept posted about the developments, according to sources.
Apart from Mamata, major Opposition leaders including Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rajul Gandhi, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party leader, Akhilesh Yadav, BSP leader Mayawati, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda are all likely to attend the rally. In order to work out a compromise formula a secret meeting is going to be held in Patna in the third week of August which can see several key leaders willing to revive the Nitish-Lalu alliance attend. The meeting will also work out a strategy which could see Mamata as leader of the anti-BJP alliance. 

``I do not know about any secret meeting but you can see the break-up between Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar has of course  dealt a body blow to opposition unity and taken some steam out of the Samajwadi rally at Patna,'' Samir Bhattacharya, president of Rashtriya Samajwadi Manch, a body of senior socialist leaders told Echo of India.

``But people cannot sit idle and they have embarked upon an effort to revive Lalu-Nitish alliance. I am sure Nitish Kumar cannot get along well with BJP for a very long time and he has to come back to the Samahwadi fold. Several parleys are going to be held on the eve of the maha rally on August 27 and maybe the meeting you are talking of is going to be one of them,'' Bhattacharya further said.