PATNA: Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)--the biggest constituent in the three-party grand alliance ruling Bihar, on Wednesday indicated that it wants to rein in one of its senior leaders whose statement against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is driving the wedge deeper in the alliance.
On a day when several leaders of Kumar’s party Janata Dal (United) spoke angrily about “constant cribbing” by RJD national vice-president and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, two top RJD leaders surprised everyone by openly speaking against Singh.
Deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav and his mother Rabri Devi, who is a former chief minister and currently an MLC, denigrated Singh for his statements such as Nitish Kumar helped BJP’s spectacular victory in Uttar Pradesh and for insinuating that when the RJD boss’s instructions come, he (Singh) would force JD(U) to fall in line.
“His comments are very improper. He should not have spoken like that,” said Rabri Devi to journalists. Devi’s response came after JD(U) leaders such as MLC and spokesperson Sanjay Singh and legislator Shyam Rajak dubbed Singh’s statements as “opinions way above the line of tolerance” and demanded that RJD take action against him.
“Such statements are clearly not in the interest of the grand alliance. If this continues, we would urge the RJD chief to take suitable action,” said Tejaswi Yadav, the younger son of Lalu and Rabri. Tejaswi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, who is Bihar’s health minister, however, refrained from making any comments on the issue.
Ever since BJP won landslide mandate in UP much to the chagrin of RJD, there has been a palpable bitterness among many RJD leaders in Bihar. Many of them share Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s contention that JD(U) supremo Nitish Kumar’s support for demonetisation, his praise for measures taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to eliminate black money and his decision not to field JD(U) candidates in UP helped BJP in the Assembly polls there.