PATNA: Despite claims by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress that the deadlock in Bihar over deputy chief minister Tejashwi 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.
Nitish Kumar was apparently not satisfied with the explanations Tejashwi 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, Tejashwi had reportedly sought “more time” to decide whether and when he should step down. Tejashwi was reportedly allowed a few more days.
With the opposition BJP stepping up its attack on Nitish Kumar, JD(U) leaders reiterated their demand that Tejashwi should “clarify before the public” queries about the corruption charges he faces. The CBI had registered a corruption case against him and his parents on July 6 and raided their Patna residence the next day.
The BJP targeted Nitish Kumar for the delay in Tejashwi’s exit 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.
Tejashwi, 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 Nitish Kumar. When asked if he would resign if Kumar 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 the JD(U).