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'He is not a factor in Bihar': Tejashwi Yadav hits out at Prashant Kishore

Yadav was responding to questions on Kishor's assessment of Prasad, who ruled the state as chief minister for seven years and another eight years by proxy with his wife Rabri Devi in the chair.

Published: 10th May 2022 12:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2022 12:01 PM   |  A+A-

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

PATNA: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has bristled at Prashant Kishor's unflattering take on his father and party president Lalu Prasad's term in power that he had neglected economic development, and dismissed the political strategist as "no factor in Bihar".

The leader of the opposition has asserted that he took "no notice" of the IPAC founder who last week launched 'Jan Suraaj', a quasi-political platform, which according to Kishor might become a full-fledged party contesting elections at a later stage.

Yadav was responding to questions on Kishor's assessment of Prasad, who ruled the state as chief minister for seven years and another eight years by proxy with his wife Rabri Devi in the chair.

According to Kishor, the RJD supremo had brought in empowerment of the downtrodden but neglected economic development, which the latter's arch rival Nitish Kumar, the current CM, tried to focus on but fell short of meeting expectations.

Kumar, whose personal ties with Kishor, viewed against the backdrop of their uneven political equations, remain a puzzle, has also dismissed the political strategist's averments as being of "no importance".

Yadav, who made his political debut in the 2015 assembly elections when Prasad and Kumar had joined hands and Kishor was helping them in professional capacity, asserted, "I take no notice, ever, of what he (Kishor) says or does. Who is he? He has never been a factor in Bihar".

Yadav was also asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement that the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) will be implemented after the corona crisis was over, and Nitish Kumar's evasive stance on the same.

"Kumar's party voted in favour of the CAA in Parliament. My party opposed it. So we need to give no clarification on the issue. But, the chief minister definitely needs to come clean," said the former deputy CM.

Although Kumar's JD(U) voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the chief minister has been opposed to the proposed nationwide NRC and even got a resolution asserting the same passed by the state assembly.

Kishor, then formally in the JD(U) as its national vice president, was very vocal against the CAA and his stance brought him into conflict with Kumar, ultimately leading to his expulsion.

Tejashwi Yadav on Monday declared that he will launch a padayatra from Bihar to Delhi to press for a headcount of OBCs, which the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is reluctant to undertake as part of the census.

Talking to reporters here, the leader of the opposition in the state claimed that it was at the instance of his party, founded and headed by his father Lalu Prasad, that resolutions in support of caste census were passed twice by both houses of the legislature in Bihar.

He was replying to questions about Chief Minister Nitish Kumar blaming the delay in a state-specific survey of castes on the corona pandemic and assuring that it will now be taken up soon.

"I can only say that it was upon the initiative of the RJD and Lalu ji that resolutions were twice passed by the assembly and the legislative council and an all-party delegation met the prime minister to press the demand for the caste census", said Yadav, who was a part of the delegation headed by Kumar.

"Now it seems that we are left with no other alternative except hitting the streets and undertaking a padayatra from Bihar to Delhi", the former deputy chief minister said without elaborating as to whether any tentative schedule has been planned.

The latest rhetoric from Yadav comes less than a week after he had declared in the social media that RJD will "not allow any census work in Bihar" until the Centre agreed to the demand for a caste census.

The Centre has stated on the floor of the Parliament that it has no plans to take up headcount of castes other than the SCs and the STs.

The numerically powerful OBCs dominate the political landscape in Bihar.

Arch rivals like Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar are therefore on the same page over the issue.

Kumar during his weekly outreach programme during the day iterated that an all party meeting on the caste census will be convened soon.

The last time a comprehensive caste census was undertaken was over a century ago in 1921 and OBC leaders believe that the proportion of the other backward classes in the overall population has risen since then.

Yadav, who earlier used to taunt Kumar on the delay in conducting a survey specific to the state seems to have changed the goalpost realizing that such an exercise, since not carried out under the Census Act, may not have a legal validity and hence might not bring much benefits to the OBCs.



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