PATNA: Despite claims by RJD and Congress that the deadlock in Bihar over deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav’s unwillingness to resign had ended after he met chief minister Nitish Kumar, JD(U) leaders on Wednesday stood their ground, indicating that the party wants the young leader to step down.
Kumar was apparently not satisfied with the explanations Tejaswi offered during their 40-minute closed-door meeting on Tuesday evening. After Kumar, who is also the JD(U) national president, heard him out and told him his options, Tejaswi had reportedly sought “more time” to decide whether and when he should step down. Tejaswi was reportedly allowed a few more days.
With opposition BJP stepping up its attacks on Kumar, JD(U) leaders on Wednesday reiterated their demand that Tejaswi should “clarify before the public” the queries about the corruption charges he faces. CBI registered a corruption case against him and his parents on July 6 and raided their Patna residence the next day.
“That meeting with the CM was part of the regular governance process. It was not political in nature. As an alliance partner, JD(U) still wants answers to the queries on the corruption charges Tejashwi Yadav faces. He has provided no answers yet,” said JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok.
However RJD legislator Ejya Yadav said, “Now that he (Tejaswi) met with the CM, there is absolutely no crisis left.”
BJP targeted Nitish Kumar for the delay in Tejaswi’s departure from the cabinet. “Has the CM finally compromised with corruption? He must make the picture clear for Bihar’s people,” said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Tejaswi, who left for New Delhi on Wednesday to attend an official meeting and to discuss the CBI case with some senior lawyers, brushed aside questions about his meeting with Kumar. When asked if he would resign if Kumar so wants, he said: “I will do whatever my party decides.”
Sources said RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who left for Ranchi in Jharkhand to appear in court in connection with the fodder scam cases, has strictly asked RJD leaders not to issue any statement that would hurt the party’s delicate relations with JD(U).