JD(U), RJD face off over Tejaswi’s resignation

first_imgLeaders of the ruling Janata Dal (United) have begun demanding Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav’s resignation, following the CBI raids on his family and an FIR lodged against him on corruption charges.“Tejaswi Yadav is yet to explain the charges made against him,” said JD(U) leader and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar. Party sources told The Hindu that if the RJD did not act on the issue by Saturday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be forced to take a decision in line with his “zero tolerance to corruption” principle.Following the JD(U) leader’s statement, RJD legislator from Maner Bhai Virendra told journalists that his party had 80 MLAs in the Assembly and would not function “on the advice of others.”The rift in the ruling coalition in Bihar seems to be widening after the Janata Dal(U) said on Thursday that if Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav did not explain the corruption charges against him, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be forced to take action.“All RJD [Rashtriya Janata Dal] legislators are strongly behind our leader Lalu Prasad and Tejaswi Yadav, who will not tender his resignation,” Bhai Virendra, party leader, said. Several RJD leaders, who did not want to be named, said there was “no question of Tejaswi Yadav resigning, come what may.”Mr. Nitish Kumar had earlier asked his party members not to comment on the issue, but after the JD(U)’s meeting on Tuesday, which sent a message to the RJD that those against whom charges of corruption have been made should explain the facts in public, they have started attacking the RJD. Mr. Kumar, however, continues to maintain a studied silence.“It’s a matter of hours or a few days that Nitish Kumar will take a decision on the issue if Tejaswi Yadav does not resign. Mr. Kumar himself may resign and form the government with the outside support of the BJP,” said a party insider, who was present at the JD(U) meeting. Of the 29 leaders who spoke at the meeting, 27 reportedly advocated snapping of ties with the RJD.RJD leaders too appeared to be ready to face the political fallout of the imbroglio. “Why should we worry about the fall of the government? We are the major partner in the coalition. We will face the situation as it comes,” said a senior leader close to Mr. Prasad. No word exchangedBJP State president Nityanand Rai said earlier this week that his party could consider extending outside support to Mr. Nitish Kumar.On Wednesday, Mr. Tejaswi Yadav and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not speak to each other at the Cabinet meeting, though they were seated next to each other. Mr. Nitish Kumar, coming out of the meeting, continued to maintain a stoic silence. He later held a meeting with key leaders and officials at his 1 Anne Marg residence. Earlier, on Tuesday, the JD(U) had put the ball in the court of RJD, asking it to make its stand clear on the corruption charges while stressing that “Nitish Kumar never compromises on the issue of corruption.”last_img