PATNA: Two senior RJD leaders today targeted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing him of cosying up to the BJP, as the the war of words intensified between the ruling allies in Bihar, JD(U) and RJD, over graft allegations against Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav.
"Is Nitish Kumar bathed in milk ? He is with BJP in the night and with RJD during day time," RJD Araria MP Mohammad Taslimuddin said as he defended Tejaswi, who has been named as an accused by CBI in the land-for-hotels case. The JD(U) has demanded that Tejaswi, who is RJD Chief Lalu Prasad's son, come clean on the allegations.
Raghubansh Prasad Singh, RJD vice-president and a known Nitish-baiter, questioned JD(U)'s claim of zero tolerance against graft "when corruption is rampant at the ground level in the state".
"Being the head of the coalition, it is Kumar's responsibility to keep the Grand Alliance intact by having dialogue with its senior leaders," he told a news channel on the sidelines of a programme and accused the chief minister of "being in contact" with the BJP.
Taslimuddin too accused Nitish Kumar, who is the JD(U) president, of being in touch with BJP.
Rein in your leaders: JD(U) to RJD
JD(U) spokesman Sunil Singh came down heavily on Raghubansh Prasad Singh for making "baseless" allegations of nexus with BJP and urged the RJD leadership to stop its leader from making such statements.
It is the responsibility of all three constituents of the Alliance, which includes the Congress too, to keep it intact, he said.
Nitish Kumar, who met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Saturday last, is maintaining silence over the matter.
He had no official engagements today and left for the national capital in the evening to be present at the swearing-in ceremony of the new president Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow.
Bihar PCC chief and minister Ashok Choudhary refused to make any comment on the issue linked with the coalition.
Won't allow legislature to function: BJP
Stepping up its offensive, the BJP has said it will not allow two houses of Bihar legislature to function during the monsoon session starting from July 28 if Tejaswi Yadav does not tender his resignation by then.
On RJD's assertion that it would speak on the accusations at its August 27 rally, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today told PTI, "Since they have no answer to the accusations, they(RJD) are saying so.... When a charge has been levelled now, what is the point of replying to it after a month ?"
On senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav's reported statement that saving the coalition was more important than Tejaswi Yadav's resignation, Sushil Modi, who is BJP legislature party leader and also leader of opposition in the state legislative council, said, "If the Grand Alliance makes a compromise on corruption, it will meet the same fate as UPA II under Manmohan Singh."
RJD minister courts controversy with the remark on CBI Senior RJD minister Chandrasekhar stoked a controversy by reportedly calling the CBI a "dog" as he accused the agency of targeting BJP's political opponents.
"During the UPA rule, BJP used to call CBI a parrot... Now under BJP rule, CBI has become a dog," he was quoted to have said by a section of the media.
The leader of opposition in the state assembly and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar termed the minister's statement as "disappointing".
"Comparing a constitutional organisation like CBI to a dog shows the mental bankruptcy of the RJD minister," he said and demanded that the chief minister sack the minister for making such "uncharitable remarks".