Patna: Ending days of speculation, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad announced his party's support to the ruling JD-U's two candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election Thursday.
"RJD will support JD-U's two candidates in the Rajya Sabha by-election to defeat BJP's game plan," he said at a press conference after holding a meeting of the RJD legislature party here,
The former chief minister said his party decided to support JD-U to forestall any chance to communal forces to play their dirty politics.
Nitish Kumar Saturday said he has appealed to the RJD to support JD-U candidates. "I have also talked to Lalu Prasad over this matter," he had said.
It was probably the first time in two decades that Nitish Kumar has publicly admitted that he sought support from the RJD chief after he and Lalu Prasad parted ways in 1994.
Lalu Prasad's decision to support JD-U is seen here as the first step for a likely realignment of RJD-JD-U to take on a surging Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar, despite reservations expressed by some RJD legislators and senior leaders like Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
The JD-U faces a tough task to ensure that its candidates - Pavan Verma and Ghulam Rasool Balyavi - win the by-elections amid some of its rebel legislators announcing they would support two Independent candidates, Sabir Ali and Anil Sharma.
A group of rebel JD-U legislators, who claimed to have the support of over a dozen legislators, are determined to ensure the defeat of the official candidates.
However, some of the rebel legislators including Annu Shukla, Renu Kushwaha, Punam Devi, Daud Ali and Munna Shahi who had proposed the candidature of two independent candidates, announced their support to the party's official candidates.
The BJP has yet to announce its stand.
The house has 243 members, but its current strength is 237 members. The ruling JD-U has 117 legislators and is supported by one Communist Party of India legislator, two Independent legislators, four Congress legislators and 21 RJD legislators. The BJP has 88 members.