Nitish Kumar skips Sonia’s meet, will attend Modi’s lunch tomorrow

Patna, May 26 Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who skipped an opposition meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Friday, is likely to attend a lunch being hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday in honour of visiting Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, setting political tongues wagging.

“Nitish Kumar has been invited by Modi for the lunch on Saturday in honour of Mauritius Prime Minister P. Jugnauth,” a JD-U leader said.

JD-U leaders, while reluctant to say much on Saturday’s meeting, remarked that it will be purely an “official meeting” and nothing to do with politics.

“Nitish Kumar will submit a list of unfulfilled promises made to Bihar, including a special financial package and his old demand of special category status for the state. It is not going to be a meeting to discuss politics,” a senior JD-U leader said.

Sonia Gandhi had recently called Nitish Kumar over phone and discussed with him the possibility of a consensus opposition candidate in the Presidential election. The Bihar Chief Minister is reported to have favoured a second term for incumbent Pranab Mukherjee.

However, his absence on Friday at the luncheon meeting convened by Gandhi to discuss the issue set off speculation that something could be amiss in the opposition camp, more so after the recent Income Tax raids on the properties of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s kin.

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