PATNA -- Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today courted controversy as a video of him meeting a 'tantrik' went viral, providing fresh ammunition to his rivals who took a dig at him claiming the JD(U) leader was resorting to occult to get rid of foe-turned-friend Lalu Yadav.
The video whose sound is blurred shows Nitish Kumar sitting on a charpoy with the tantrik (faith healer) in presence of Neeraj Kumar, JD(U) candidate from Mokama.
Though most of the conversation between Kumar and the tantrik is not audible, at some place the tantrik is heard asking Nitish Kumar why did he join hands with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and the tantrik uttering "Nitish Zindabad and Lalu Murdabad."
The tantrik is seen blessing Kumar and hugging him.
The BJP was quick to target both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. Union Minister of State Giriraj Singh alleged that Kumar met the tantrik "to get rid" of Lalu Prasad.
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"Lalu Prasad had recently, while attacking Prime Minister, said he knows the formula to ward off evil forces. But before he could do so his younger brother (Nitish Kumar) reached a tantrik to get rid of Lalu Prasad," Giriraj Singh told reporters.
Asked about the video, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said, "when the situation is bad, even 'tantra-mantra' does not help".
Asked why BJP was targeting Kumar when the saffron party leaders are often seen with 'babas', Jaitley retorted, "Yes they are, but not to plot against their own associates", a veiled reference to Nitish-Lalu rivalry.
When a question was asked to RJD President Lalu Prasad about Kumar meeting the tantrik who said "Lalu murdabad", Prasad said he was not aware of the video.
He, however, quipped, "I am a bigger tantrik than these tantriks."
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said since voters have rejected Nitish Kumar and his grand secular alliance in the first two rounds of voting, Kumar is now making rounds of tantriks and faith healers to invoke divine blessings in the elections.
Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi also attacked Kumar saying "he claims to be a socialist leader but promoting orthodox believes by visiting tantriks".