PATNA: The last day of the five-day Bihar Assembly session on Friday saw Chief Minister Nitish Kumar losing his cool while responding to remarks made by leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav. “He (Tejashwi) is lying. I have kept quiet because he is the son of my brother-like friend. I hoped he would mend his ways, but he has made absurd allegations,” Kumar said.
The RJD leader during a discussion on the Governor’s address referred to a 1991 murder case in which Nitish had already been given a clean chit. Tejashwi alleged that Nitish was named in that case and a fine of Rs 25,000 was charged from him in another case of copyright theft.
He was reacting to a political jibe by the CM on RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s large family, suggesting that it showed Lalu’s preference for male children. “But he (Nitish Kumar) perhaps fearing the birth of a girl, did not go for another child,” said Tejashwi. He also dubbed the ruling party leaders as “thieves and dishonest”, provoking the MLAs to troop into the well of the House.
Nitish hit out at Tejashwi, wondering who made him the Leader of Opposition. He asked the Assembly chairman to get the matter examined and action taken against Tejashwi. “Does he know who made his father (Lalu) the leader of the legislature party? Does he know who made him (Tejashwi) a Deputy CM? He should check facts before speaking,” said a fuming Nitish.
He said in 2017 when Tejashwi faced charges of corruption, as a CM he had asked the RJD leader to explain his position. “But he did not, and finally I had to quit the government in 2017,” Nitish told the House. Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad called Tejashwi’s remarks shameful and asked him to maintain the House decorum. Amid uproarious scenes, the Speaker adjourned the House for half an hour. Before Nitish’s angry response, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary countered Tejashwi’s allegations, saying the Patna High Court had dismissed the murder case.
Fear physical harm, says BJP legislator
BJP MLA Lalan Kumar Paswan, whom RJD chief Lalu Prasad allegedly telephoned, told the Assembly that he feared “physical and mental harm” after having exposed the “powerful” leader. In a deft play of the Dalit card, he said, “as a House member, I seek protection. I feel insecure in the midst of a vitiated political atmosphere. There is still a perception that those from weaker sections are up for sale.”