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After Poison Jibe, Nitish Kumar Meets Lalu Prasad to Clear the Air

PATNA, BIHAR: Two days after a tweet that referred to poison was seen as an attack on his ally Lalu Prasad, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar tried to clear the air.

He met last night with Lalu Prasad in Patna, in what sources on both sides describe as a peace-keeping mission

Mr Kumar and Lalu Prasad, once formidable opponents, are now in a partnership with the Congress for the approaching Bihar election. The alliance has been a fractitious one, not least because Lalu Prasad has been unhappy about Mr Kumar being selected the presumptive Chief Minister.

On Tuesday, Mr Kumar he tweeted a couplet by famous mystic poet Kabir; the Chief Minister appeared to compare himself to chandan (sandalwood tree) which cannot be corrupted by venom even if snakes wrapped themselves its trunk. Within hours, the tweet was interpreted as a comment on Lalu; both sides denied that.

Mr Kumar drove to meet Lalu Prasad at 10 pm last night without any security cover, and spent nearly an hour with him. Both later held hands for a photo-op to signal unity.

Mr Kumar is running for a third back-to-back term as Chief Minister. Lalu Prasad cannot contest the election himself because he has been convicted in a corruption case. The parties have united to block the BJP from riding the Prime Minister's popularity and coming to power.

When asked about Mr Kumar's tweet, Mr Prasad said, "Earlier, the BJP used to say there was no chance of us coming together and now since this has happened they are trying to instigate trouble by making baseless allegations."

Playing down the controversial tweet, Mr Kumar said, "Chaliye ho gaya (let's move ahead, it's over now)."

src: ndtv

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