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Old foes share stage, smile after 20 years

Old foes share stage, smile after 20 years
Highlights

Old Foes Share Stage, Smile After 20 Years. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav played \"bhai-bhai\" (brothers) as they warmly held hands and later sipped tea on stage in Hajipur in their first appearance together at a public rally in two decades.

Good days were promised, but where are the good days? People are still waiting. Good day's haven't come for people, but have come for some BJP members

New Delhi: Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav played "bhai-bhai" (brothers) as they warmly held hands and later sipped tea on stage in Hajipur in their first appearance together at a public rally in two decades.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) senior leader Nitish Kumar at a by-election rally in Hajipur on Monday

They defended their new bonhomie, fast tracked by a common need to prevent the BJP from extending its big win in this year's Lok Sabha elections to by-elections in Bihar later this month. "People said Nitish went for help to his big brother Lalu Yadav. Well who else will he come to?" asked Yadav, 66. Kumar, 63, said he buried the hatchet with the man he has incessantly attacked for many years to take on the bigger enemy.

"Good days were promised, but where are the good days? People are still waiting. Good day's haven't come for people, but have come for some BJP members. The government will not reduce inflation, they will only save their seats," Kumar said, confirming that he would address at least seven such rallies with Lalu Yadav, in their joint campaign for the by-elections to 10 assembly seats.

Under a seat sharing pact, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal - United and Lalu Yadav's RJD will contest four seats each and the Congress will contest two.

They hope that their complex politics will lead to some simple arithmetic: the BJP and its allies had won 31 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in May, with a vote share of 35.8 per cent. Partners RJD-Congress and the JD(U) together had 45 per cent. The BJP is dismissive. "It is lust of power and the threat of defeat that has brought them together, they stand exposed," said the party's Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

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