As rift in RJD, Congress widens in Bihar, Bhakta Das denies Lalu Yadav's claim to have spoken with Sonia Gandhi
After Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said that he had a telephonic conversation with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Bihar Congress in-charge Bhakta Charan Das dismissed the claim saying that "there is no truth in it" and he would have known if it was true.
According to Lalu Yadav, he spoke to Gandhi about forming a "strong alternative" against the ruling party in the state.
"I spoke to Sonia Gandhi. She asked me about my well-being and whereabouts. I said, I am fine, your party is an all India party so get all like-minded people and parties together to form a strong alternative (to ruling party) and call a meeting of all people," he said.
Meanwhile, Das told ANI that if talks had happened, then he would have been informed.
"No conversation has taken place between Sonia Gandhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav. If talks had happened, then I would have been informed. There is no truth in it," said Das.
The reports of the telephonic conversation came after Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) broke off the alliance ahead of the by-polls in Kusheshwar Asthan (SC) and Tarapur constituencies in Bihar scheduled to be held on October 30.
Earlier, breaking the alliance with Congress in Bihar, Lalu Yadav had said that RJD's candidates would lose their deposit in the elections if they remain in alliance with the Congress in the state ahead of the by-polls in two assembly constituencies.
"Would we have left everything to Congress for a loss? For losing deposits?" Lalu Yadav had said.
Notably, Lalu Yadav had recently passed an objectionable remark against Das, who is a Dalit leader, which drew criticism from Congress.
When asked about the allegation by Das that by turning its back on the Congress, the RJD was helping the BJP, Lalu Yadav said, "Bhakt Charan is a stupid person", implying that Charan Das is incapable of assessing the situation on the ground.
Ahead of the polls, Congress has also fielded its candidates for the two seats after RJD announced its decision to contest the two seats, creating a rift between the two parties which are allies in the state.
Meanwhile, RJD has decided to field its candidates from both Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur in the by-election in Bihar.