PATNA: With the Opposition BJP continuing to accuse RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family of “illegally acquiring” massive property, RJD ally JD(U)’s unwillingness to support Yadav in the matter on Monday sparked off an ugly verbal spat between Bihar’s two ruling allies.
Even as senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has been levelling allegations against Yadav one after another for nearly a month, JD(U) leaders had been maintaining a tight lip on the issue. But JD(U) washed its hands off the political hot potato when the party’s Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh, considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, made it clear on Sunday that his party was “under no compulsion to defend anybody”.
JD(U) sources said Nitish Kumar, facing BJP’s continual taunts about his silence over the allegations Yadav faces, finally deployed Singh to put forward his party’s stand. “We (JD-U) are not responsible to speak on this matter (BJP charges against Yadav family’s assets). People who face the charges should answer,” Singh said.
Modi has named three shell companies that came into the total ownership of Yadav’s family members in recent years and thus handed them prime land. He has also accused Yadav of having taken prime land and house as gifts for his two sons from two senior RJD leaders - Raghunath Jha and Kanti Singh - in return for making them ministers in the UPA-1 government. RJD leaders have rubbished these charges even as Modi demands a probe by the state government.
“RCP Singh is no real leader… He was a bureaucrat who was brought into politics. They (JD-U) must not make the mistake of thinking that we (RJD) are weak. It is on our votes that they are in power today,” said Bhai Birendra, a senior RJD legislator close to the party chief. RJD has the largest number of MLAs in Bihar’s three-party alliance government. He also said most RJD legislators are unhappy with the government led by Nitish Kumar as JD(U) leaders, he said, were getting officials posted as per their wish.
JD(U) reacted sharply with spokesperson Sanjay Singh asking RJD to muzzle leaders like Birendra. “If the snake-charmer himself becomes snake, he must be immediately killed,” he said, adding that Bihar’s people handed victory to the JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance due to the leadership of Nitish Kumar.
RJD leaders were also angered by Singh’s statement on BJP’s charges of Yadav promoting dynasty politics. While RJD leaders have been strongly defending the posts occupied by Yadav’s family members, saying they are all duly elected leaders and “people’s spontaneous choice,” Singh said JD(U) is against dynasty politics. yadav’s two sons are ministers in the State government - deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav and health minister Tej Pratap Yadav - and his daughter Misa Bharti is a Rajya Sabha member, while the RJD chief’s wife Rabri Devi is an MLC.