PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar walked into the residence of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav here on Monday morning without any prior announcement and spoke with him for about 45 minutes, sparking speculations about the two leaders trying to align afresh their political strategies in the emerging scenario.
Kumar, soon after finishing his morning walk, made an unscheduled visit to Yadav’s 10, Circular Road residence in Patna. RJD sources said Yadav was unwell and Kumar’s visit aimed at inquiring into his health condition. Yadav’s two sons – deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav and health minister Tej Pratap Yadav – were also present during the meeting between Kumar and the RJD chief.
RJD is the ruling JD(U)’s bigger alliance partner along with Congress. Both Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav have been railway ministers. While Kumar was the railway minister during the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government, Yadav held the post during the UPA-1 government led by Manmohan Singh.
Sources in Kumar’s party JD(U) said the two top leaders discussed a few key developments, prominent among them the massive derailment of the Indore-Rajendra Nagar Express train near Kanpur early on Sunday morning and the JD(U)’s ongoing talks with two political parties in Uttar Pradesh to forge an alliance for the upcoming Assembly polls in that state.
Yadav had on Sunday criticised the functioning of Indian Railways under the present NDA government. He had said that he had warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi in letters about the diminishing importance paid to the safety of passengers. He had rued that his letters had brought about no change of direction in the Railways’ attitude towards the safety of passengers.
Sources also said Kumar and Yadav discussed the annual ‘report card’ about the three-party alliance government’s performance in the past one year. Kumar was scheduled to release the report card in a ceremony on Sunday morning but had to cancel it after the train derailment in Kanpur.
“Maybe Lalu wants the performance of ministers from RJD, including his two sons, to be given more importance and praise in the government’s report card,” said a political observer familiar with the ways of the two regional parties for long.