'No realignment with Nitish Kumar': Tejashwi on reaching common ground on caste census

The leader of the opposition also deplored the recent CBI raids on his parent's residences, alleging that the 'cowardly' act of political vendetta was 'neither the first, nor the last'.

Published: 27th May 2022 11:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2022 11:58 AM   |  A+A-

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. ( Photo| Parveen Negi/EPS)

Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. ( Photo| Parveen Negi/EPS)


PATNA: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday scoffed at speculations that common ground on the issue of caste census with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his father Lalu Prasad's arch-rival, could result in a political realignment.

The leader of the opposition also deplored the recent CBI raids on his parent's residences, here and in Delhi, alleging that the "cowardly" act of political vendetta was "neither the first, nor the last".

Yadav was responding to queries from journalists upon his return from the UK, where he spent a week delivering talks on the state of Indian politics.

"When we met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year as part of an all-party delegation to press the demand for caste census, the initiative was mine and not that of Nitish Kumar. Does it mean I am ready for an alliance with the BJP? Please do not get too hypothetical," said Yadav when asked about recent "closeness" with Kumar, as evident in both attending Iftar hosted at each other's place and their similar stance on caste census.

The former Deputy CM also refused to comment on allegations by some leaders of his own party that the raids were "BJP-sponsored" and aimed at dissuading Nitish Kumar from getting "too close" to the opposition party.

The RJD leader, however, added, "It is a fact that we are being targeted through investigating agencies because we are in the opposition. I have been witness to such action against my father since I was a child. This is not the first instance. If the misuse of constitutional agencies continues, it will not be the last either."

"It was a cowardly act," said Yadav, referring to the CBI raids last weekend and pointed out that his father, who has been booked for alleged corruption during his tenure as railway minister, had made contributions such as "transforming the railways into a massive profit-running venture, running AC trains for the poor, jobs to porters and tea in kulhads (earthen pots)".

Training his guns at the NDA government at the Centre, he alleged, "Now the railways is being sold in the name of privatisation. Still, it is we who are being accused of wrongdoing."

Yadav, who is the most powerful leader in his party after his father, the RJD's founding chief, also refused to comment on the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls wherein his eldest sister Misa Bharti hopes to get a ticket for the third consecutive term.

"The party's parliamentary board has authorised the national president to take a call. It is possible that he will announce the names by Friday," the RJD leader said.

Meanwhile, a source close to the Lalu family confirmed that Misa Bharti's nomination has been finalised.

"Misa Bharti will be the candidate for one of the two seats we expect to win. For the other seat, the party president has chosen Fayyaz Ahmed, a senior leader and former MLA. Formal announcement in this regard will be made in due course," the source said on condition of anonymity.

The last date for filing nominations, for five Rajya Sabha seats to which biennial polls are scheduled, is May 31.


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