A day after RJD leadership skipped the three-party opposition alliance’s press meet where its seat-sharing formula for Jharkhand assembly polls was announced, JMM leader Hemant Soren on Saturday met jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad at a hospital.
Hemant Soren, the opposition alliance’s chief ministerial candidate, told reporters that he called on Prasad to seek his blessings.
Serving jail sentences in fodder scam cases, 72-year-old Prasad has been lodged in a Ranchi hospital on account of poor health.
“Lalu-ji placed some questions before me and very soon we will go to him with the answers. The RJD is with the opposition alliance,” Soren said.
The alliance on Friday announced the seat-sharing arrangement for the five-phase Jharkhand assembly elections. The JMM will contest 43 seats, the Congress 31 and RJD seven.
However, questions were raised as no RJD leader was present at the press conference here though Prasad’s son and RJD heir apparent Tejaswi Yadav met his father at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
RJD’s Jharkhand unit General Secretary Ashutosh Ranjan Yadav on Saturday said, “Hemant Soren met Lalu ji at the RIMS to seek his blessings. Nobody was present while the two leaders talked.”
Meanwhile, the BJP attempted to drive a wedge between the JMM and the RJD saying Soren was cowed down by the “blackmail” of Prasad’s party.
During the statehood movement, Prasad had said Jharkhand would be formed over his dead body and now, by seeking his “blessings”, Soren has hurt the pride of the people of Jharkhand, BJP state unit spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said.
“This shows that Hemant Soren is bowing to RJD’s blackmail for the chief minister’s chair. Yesterday, the opposition alliance said RJD leader could not attend the press meet due to their busy schedule,” he said.
“This alliance has been constructed on the foundation of jail, bail, sale and blackmail,” Shahdeo claimed.
The first phase of polling is scheduled on November 30 and the exercise will conclude on December 20 and counting is slated on December 23.