Though the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) earlier confirmed that Nitish Kumar would attend Rahul's rally in Bihar's West Champaran district on September 19, it later said he would be unable to do so due to his engagement with finalisation of candidates. Interestingly, former chief minister Lalu Prasad too refused to share the stage with Rahul citing a busy schedule, and efforts were on to make him attend it.

A senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader said that Lalu Prasad, however, assured the Congress leaders here that his younger son Tejaswi Yadav, regarded as his heir apparent, would attend the rally on his behalf. JD-U general secretary and national spokesperson KC Tyagi and other senior party leaders would attend Rahul's rally.

According to sources, Lalu Prasad was reluctant to share the dais with Rahul Gandhi as he was unhappy with the Congress leader over the latter's political approach and stand on some issues. After the RJD chief's refusal to attend Rahul Gandhi's Champaran rally to kick-start the Congress election campaign in Bihar, the Congress is trying to persuade the former chief minister to share the stage with the Gandhi family scion to project before the public the unity of the grand alliance comprising of JD-U, RJD and the Congress.

Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Choudhary personally visited Lalu Prasad twice since last Sunday to convince him to share the dais with Rahul Gandhi. "I am hopeful that Laluji will attend the rally," Choudhary said.The grand alliance, in which RJD and JD-U would contest 100 seats each and the Congress 40 seats, is in direct fight with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in Bihar polls.

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