Nitish parleys with core group as deadlock with RJD persists; Big JD (U) meet on Tuesday
Its line endorsed by 80 party MLAs, the largest single block in the 243-member Bihar assembly, the RJD said on Monday Tejashwi Yadav would not resign as deputy CM, in the wake of the CBI’s FIR against him.india Updated: Jul 10, 2017 19:45 IST
The political turmoil in Bihar, which started last week with the CBI registering an FIR against deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, continued on Monday as the RJD MLAs, at a party meeting here, expressed their full support for the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Drawing strength from the endorsement of the party line by 80 RJD MLAs, the largest single block in the 243-member Bihar assembly, the RJD remained firm Tejashwi would not resign as deputy CM, in the wake of an FIR instituted against him by the CBI.
The opposition BJP, too, remained as vociferous in its demand that the Yadav scion should quit or be sacked by CM Kumar.
As such, the ball remained firmly in the court of the chief minister to take a call on the future of the scion of the RJD first family, who the BJP wants sacked as deputy chief minister, in the wake of his implication by the CBI in what has come to be known as ‘land for railways’ hotels’ scam.
All eyes are now set on a crucial JD (U) meeting slated for Tuesday. Though, the meeting was initially to be attended by district office-bearers to review the membership drive, at the last moment, all state executive members have been asked to attend the meeting.
“This clearly signals the current political scenario will be discussed at the meeting. I think, by Tuesday evening the scenario will be clearer”, said JD (U) leader familiar with the developments.
While rhe RJD leaders’ meeting was underway at Lalu Prasad’s house next door, chief minister Nitish Kumar remained closeted with his ‘trusted’ ministers for several hours. at his western Patna home to arrive at a solution acceptable to both sides.
Government sources said that Kumar held parleys with party state president Bashistha Narain Singh, JD (U) ministers Bijendra Prasad Yadav and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh and party Rajya Sabha MP R C P Singh.
JD (U) sources admitted that the 18-month old alliance was passing through a turbulent phase. “The CM is definitely caught between his zero tolerance against corruption policy, on the one hand, fear of the alliance breaking midway,” said a senior party leader.
Realising it was a ‘Catch 22’ kind of situation, JD (U) spokespersons have maintained complete silence on the matter at hand. Even the JD (U) state president refused to entertain media persons. Such was the information gap that there was neither any denial nor acceptance of talks being held between the CM and the RJD chief.
The developments have left the JD (U) leadership worried for the toll they may take on CM Kumar’s image of a leader committed to good governance and intolerant of corruption. “A quick resolution of the matter is the need of the hour”, said a party functionary.
Adding to the confusion were the comments of former JD (U) president Sharad Yadav, who reportedly ‘backed’ the RJD while talking to a news agency in New Delhi.
Yadav told ANI that Lalu Prasad was an integral part of the united opposition. “The tirade has been unleashed against Lalu Yadav and his family because the BJP wants to break opposition unity, but this will not happen. We will remain united”, he reportedly said.