Nitish Kumar snubs Sonia Gandhi for lunch with Narendra Modi

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who snubbed Congress President Sonia Gandhi by skipping a lunch meet of opposition parties on Friday, is likely to be present at the lunch Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hosting tomorrow for visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

Nitish Kumar sunbs Sonia Gandhi

Sharad Yadav and K C Tyagi represented JD(U) at the lunch hosted by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi where Kumar, who is the party president, was conspicuous by his absence.

There has been speculation about a tie-up between JD(U) and the BJP, something Kumar has repeatedly refuted. JD(U) had broken its 17-year alliance with BJP in 2013 after Narendra Modi was declared the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate.

Such conjecture has grown following the Supreme Court’s decision to try RJD chief Lalu Prasad in four fodder scam cases and fresh allegations of corruption against him and his family members.

Explaining hiss decision, Kumar said, “I was invited by PM in honour of Mauritius Prime Minister and you know we have deep emotional bonds with people there. 52% of population there has origins in Bihar.”

Kumar heads the JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition government in Bihar. The chief minister has maintained a silence on the allegations against the RJD supremo and his kin, merely saying it was for the central government to look into them.

During a recent visit to Delhi he had reportedly stressed on a larger opposition unity against the BJP-led NDA. He had also met Gandhi.

Sources close to Kumar have often rubbished reports about any bonhomie between him and the BJP.

(With PTI inputs)

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