"I have directed my partymen and also Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (JD-U) not to make any derogatory remarks on any statement of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav," Lalu Prasad told reporters. "Mulayam Singh jee is not only a tall leader but also my 'samdhi'. We share 'beti-roti' (daughter and bread) relationship with each other," Prasad, whose daughter is married to Yadav's grand nephew, said.

"Being his 'samdhi', if he (Mulayam Singh) gets more angry we will give him a yellow dhoti (worn during time to marriage)," he said in a lighter vein. Asked to comment on SP chief's barbs at Kumar questioning his secular credentials after remaining with BJP for 12 years, Prasad said "I have already said we will not react to SP chief's remarks."

Kumar too spoke cautiously on Mulayam Singh Yadav. "JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad made sincere efforts to keep SP in Janata Parivar but the efforts did not bear fruits ... Every party is independent to take a decision and Samajwadi Party took a decision (not to be part of grand secular alliance)," he stated.

After days of high drama, SP had last week formally bid adieu to JD(U) and RJD, its two prominent associates in the Janata Parivar accusing Kumar in particular for 'tilt' towards Congress.

With the bonhomie over, the SP President, who was recently announced head of Janata Party by Prasad and Kumar, went ballistic against the Bihar Chief Minister yesterday.

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