He praised Congress as an "umbrella" organization of secular forces, which the country needs while saying that LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan is a "gentleman" but some people around him are not allowing him to take the right decision. (Agencies)
Prasad also attacked his bête noire Nitish Kumar, whom he accused of hobnobbing with BJP all along and was now claiming to be secular.
"My relationship with Ram Vilas Paswan has not soured at all. We talk with each other regularly...I have never said that we will not go for a tie-up with Ram Vilas Paswan's party. Paswan is a gentleman, good human being. But there are some people around him that do not allow him to take a decision on his own. There are some people, who have a different thinking,” he said.
"There is no feeling of disrespect towards him from my side. Our tie-up was with his party earlier also and will remain now as well...My target is communal forces. I am not focusing on what one or the other leader is saying. We will stop communal forces in Bihar like we had done in fast," Prasad said.
He further explained that when he uses the word we, ‘it is not only RJD. It is also taking together Congress and yes LJP too. All the three parties must come together to stop the communal and fascist forces’.
His response came two days after Paswan threw the ball in Congress court, saying it is for that party to decide whether the secular alliance in Bihar will include RJD or JD (U).
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Monday ruled out any talks with Congress for a tie-up in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections but showered encomiums at Paswan amid buzz that LJP and JD(U) are close to formalize an alliance in Bihar.
Slamming Kumar over his secular pitch, Prasad said, "Nitish Kumar is not a factor in Bihar...Lalu cannot go with Nitish, a man who associated for so long with a party which fanned communalism and riots...He (Kumar) remained with BJP for six years at Centre and nine years in state.”
He praised Congress as an "umbrella" organization of secular forces, which the country needs while saying that LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan is a "gentleman" but some people around him are not allowing him to take the right decision.