PATNA: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday launched a frontal attack on JD(U), accusing it of having struck a "deal" with the BJP as part of which it supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament to ensure that its president Nitish Kumar remain in power in the state.
Talking to reporters outside the state assembly, Yadav also expressed dissatisfaction with the chief minister's assurance that concerns expressed by the opposition over CAA, NPR and proposed country-wide NRC would be discussed in the next session.
"The chief minister could have extended the special day-long session for the purpose. It seems he was simply buying time, hoping things to cool down for his comfort," Yadav - who is the leader of the opposition in the assembly -- alleged.
At a special session, the House unanimously approved the 166th constitutional amendment, providing for extension of quotas for SCs and STs by another 10 years.
"Even on our apprehensions about the NPR containing problematic columns like places of birth of parents he was equivocal. He said 'dekhenge' (will look into) and not say anything categorically," the RJD leader who was flanked by party colleagues, including elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, said.
Yadav, who is the son of the party's founding president Lalu Prasad and its chief ministerial candidate for the assembly polls due this year, sought to make light of the stout opposition to NRC by JD(U) national vice president Prashant Kishor.
"What standing does he have? Even his party does not consider him as its leader. Professionals dabbling into politics. I do not resent it, they are well within their rights to do so," he remarked about the election strategist, who is known to share good relations with his jailed father and had handled his party's campaign for the 2015 assembly polls, which Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad had fought in an alliance.
"But one thing I must say, there should not be deal-making in politics. The JD(U)'s charade of supporting the CAA and opposing the NRC is part of a design. Does the party not know that CAA was brought to clear the hurdles that came in the way of implementing NRC?" Yadav asked.
Notably, the JD(U) had opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill when it was first introduced in Parliament in January last year.
Nine months later, with the party's strength in the Lok Sabha having risen manifold, the JD(U) changed tack and supported the Bill in both Houses - a move that took many of its top office-bearers by surprise.
"The fact is Nitish Kumar depends on BJP for his survival in power and is ready to make any compromise to stay in the chief minister's chair. All his words and deeds can be viewed in this light," said Yadav, who had served as Kumar's deputy until the latter ended alliance with RJD and returned to the NDA in 2017.