PATNA: With Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his party JD(U) maintaining a studied silence on the raids conducted by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the premises of RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family, the already strained relations between the two parties deepened further on Saturday.
A day after CBI raided 12 locations across the country linked to Yadav, ED officials raided three properties owned by Yadav’s eldest daughter and Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti in NCR. Several Congress and RJD leaders flocked to Yadav’s residence on Saturday in Patna to show solidarity. However, JD(U) leaders were conspicuous by their absence and the silence they have been observing for two days.
Sources said Kumar, who is the JD(U) national president and heads Bihar’s grand alliance government with RJD and Congress, extended his sojourn in the health resort town of Rajgir, 100 km off Patna, till Sunday evening or Monday morning. While Kumar met several JD(U) leaders at Rajgir, where he is recuperating from a “minor illness”, he made no public comments.
“He (Kumar) is waiting and studying the implications of the raids by CBI and ED,” said a senior JD(U) leader close to Kumbar. Uppermost in Kumar’s list of tasks was the decision on whether to drop Yadav’s younger son and deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav, who was named in the FIR registered by CBI in the railway hotel transfer scam and the dubious acquisition of prime land, he added.
“We are with him (Yadav) in this hour of crisis facing him and his family members,” said Bihar Congress chief and education minister Ashok Choudhary after paying the RJD chief a visit.
“These incidents (raids by CBI and ED) are part of BJP’s vendetta politics targeted against those who oppose its government’s policies. Everyone knows the credentials of Amit Shah and PM Modi,” he added.
The Opposition, BJP, heightened its calls for the removal of Tejaswi Yadav from the cabinet. “Nitish Kumar has been making tall claims about his zero tolerance towards corruption. But now, even a day after CBI raided the deputy chief minister after registering a case against him, he is silent on the issue. We are waiting for Kumar to take action,” said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Senior BJP leaders of Bihar held a meeting at the party office to discuss the emerging political scenario and the party’s next course of action.