PATNA: Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Friday claimed that Nitish Kumar's writ no longer ran in the government he was heading, and it was the BJP, his numerically stronger ally, which was calling the shots.
The RJD national vice president, who preceded Kumar in power, was replying to queries from journalists about the recent bureaucratic reshuffle in which some officers believed to be close to the chief minister have been divested of the plum posts they had been holding for long.
"The writ of Nitish Kumar no longer runs in his own government. He should have thought carefully before taking oath as chief minister again," said Rabri Devi, taking a dig at the JD(U) leader who retained the top post despite his party finishing a distant third in the assembly polls.
The BJP returned with a tally of 74 in the 243-strong assembly while the JD(U) could manage only 43.
The RJD, though it fell short of achieving power, won the maximum number of 75 seats.
"All those who have been loyal to Nitish Kumar and known to be having his interests in mind are likely to be sidelined in the days to come," alleged the RJD leader whose party has been trying to goad the chief minister to bite the bullet and quit the NDA, following the recent defection of JD (U) MLAs to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh.
A large number of RJD supporters visited Rabri Devis 10, Circular Road residence on Friday to greet her on her 65th birthday.
Asked about the charge by JD(U)-BJP combine that her son and heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav had the propensity to "run away" from Bihar, an allusion to his frequent trips to the national capital, she said, "People visit places because they have some business there.
Do the leaders of the BJP and the JD(U) spend their lives locked in safes?" She asserted that "only members of my family or my party have the right to question my son about his personal life".
She also expressed concern over the deteriorating health of her husband, the RJD's jailed supremo Lalu Prasad, and voiced displeasure over the NDA raising the issue of his prolonged stay at a bungalow -- allotted to a senior medical officer -- in Ranchi, where he is serving sentences for his involvement in the fodder scam.
"It was the decision of the government (in Jharkhand) to put him up at a bungalow. After the hue and cry, he has been shifted back to the hospital. Those who have a grouse should question the government instead of targeting us. We are just common people," she said.
Notably, the RJD is a junior alliance partner of the government headed by Hemant Soren in the adjoining state.