As deadline ends, Lalu dares Nitish, says Tejashwi won’t step down
By Anand ST Das | Express News Service | Published: 16th July 2017 08:40 AM |
PATNA: With Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav categorically rejecting demands for his son and Bihar deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s resignation, an embattled CM Nitish Kumar on Saturday convened a crucial meeting of Janata Dal (U) legislators on Sunday to decide his next step.
The crisis within the alliance government in Bihar deepened further as Tejashwi, 28, skipped an official function in Patna where he was scheduled to share the dais with Nitish Kumar on Saturday. Tejashwi’s name had been printed as a “distinguished guest” on promotional pamphlets for the programme on Vishwa Yuva Kaushal Divas.
When he did not turn up, his name plate was covered with paper and quietly removed before the programme commenced. Rashtriya Janata Dal sources said Tejashwi, against whom the CBI registered a case of corruption last week, stayed home all day and met party leaders and supporters.
Lalu Prasad’s rigid stance that Tejashwi would not quit “under any circumstances” because “an FIR is not a sufficient reason for resignation” led to a fresh bout of finger-pointing among leaders of the JD(U) and RJD. Though Nitish Kumar, continued to maintain studied silence on the issue, he was reportedly anguished over the RJD’s attitude even as JD(U)’s unofficial four-day ultimatum to Tejaswi to resign expired on Saturday.
“It is time Lalu read the writing on the wall. Nitish Kumar is not going to compromise on the issue of corruption,” said JD(U)’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Singh.
RJD leaders rubbished such protestations and continued citing RJD’s numerical edge in the Assembly. “Our leader (Lalu) has spoken the final word on this issue. There is no chance of any change,” said senior RJD legislator Bhai Birendra, considered close to Lalu. Meanwhile, in New Delhi, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi amid the crisis in Patna.