They are political rivals, but when it comes to celebrating Bihar Diwas in Mumbai, Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal has backed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and has urged him to ignore Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's threat. The impending visit on April 15 has become controversial in Maharashtra.
"The chief minister must attend the celebrations in Mumbai to make a mockery of MNS chief Raj Thackeray's threat," RJD general secretary Ram Kirpal Yadav said here.
Yadav said that Mumbai is not a fiefdom of MNS chief Raj Thackeray, and people of Bihar have every right to celebrate it in Mumbai.
"Kumar should give a fitting reply to Raj Thackeray by attending Bihar Diwas celebrations. If he doesn't, it will give boost to Raj's hate politics" Yadav, a RJD member of Parliament said.
Samrat Choudhary, another RJD leader, has urged Kumar to visit Mumbai to attend celebrations as the chief guest.
"He must attend the celebrations in Mumbai to prove the MNS chief wrong," Choudhary, said. Thackeray had threatened to disrupt the Bihar Diwas celebrations in Mumbai. Since the past fortnight, the MNS has been vociferously opposing 'Bihar Day' celebrations and had even challenged Kumar to enter Mumbai for the celebrations.
This prompted Kumar last week to comment that he was "free to travel anywhere in the country and did not need a visa to come to Mumbai.