Kumar, who has been chosen as Chief Ministerial candidate by the grand secular alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress, said at a function of a private national TV channel, "I am prepared for a debate on jungle raj issue."

Stating the jungle raj accusation has become 'irrelevant' today, he said, "Even women can move freely in the night...gari (vehicle) has moved ahead...its (return of jungle raj) not possible now."

"I give 100 percent guarantee that rule of law would continue to prevail in Bihar without any pressure from any quarter," Kumar added. The CM's assertions appeared as a bid to assuage people's misgivings against any adverse impact of tie-up with Lalu Prasad's RJD whose 15-year rule from 1990 to 2005 was described in certain quarters as 'worse law and order situation.'

Kumar said the 'jungle raj' term was used by others and not by him even when JD(U) was opposed to RJD for 10 years. He said at that time he had used 'Atank raj' phrase (rule of terror) against the crime graph under previous rule.

"For past over one-and-a-half year I am running government with the help of RJD and Congress and never got any recommendation to set free any criminal," he said in support. RJD president Lalu Prasad also described the jungle raj allegation as 'a ploy to drive forward castes away from us'.

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