Congress wades in to play peacemaker between JD(U) and RJD
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Congress wades in to play peacemaker between JD(U) and RJD

As the JD(U) and the RJD continue to spar over graft charges against deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, the third partner in the alliance- the Congress says a solution could be found soon.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2017 11:44 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
File photo of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. Ties between the two parties have come under strain following graft charges against deputy chief minister and Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi Yadav. (PTI)

The smallest constituent in Bihar’s grand alliance (GA) government, the Congress is hopeful of a solution ‘very soon’ even as two of its largest constituents, the RJD and the JD(U) are ranged against each other over the demand for the resignation of deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav over corruption charges.

The Congress also seemed to take on the role of a peacemaker between the RJD and the JD(U).

“Some solution will be found. Let me clarify that Nitish Kumar has not asked for Tejashwi Yadav’s resignation. He has just asked for pointwise rebuttal of allegations,” said a senior Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee functionary.

Senior JD (U) leader K C Tyagi also backed the Congress leader’s assertions. “Nitish Kumar is a person of high moral values. Whatever he has had to say has been said during the Vidhan Mandal meeting earlier. Nitishji did not demand resignation. However, to continue to uphold the principles of the party, it is necessary that the concerned minister come out clean,” Tyagi told a news agency in New Delhi.

Ties between chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Lalu Prasad’s RJD seemed headed for breakpoint this week as graft charges against the RJD chief’s family continued to snowball .

On Friday night, Prasad put his foot down on Tejashwi’s resignation while insisting that there was no problem with the grand alliance.

“Tejashwi will not resign. There is no question of his resignation. The Grand Alliance is intact,” Prasad said after deliberating with his senior party leaders after his return from Ranchi, where he had gone to appear in a special CBI court in a fodder scam case.

Read more: Tejashwi won’t resign, alliance unbreakable: Lalu on spat with Nitish Kumar

The RJD president said that he was going by the decision of its legislature party, which met earlier this week and decided that Tejashwi would not resign. Prasad, however, made it clear that “there is no difference with Nitish Kumar and there is no distance from him either.”

RJD’s alliance partner, JD (U), which had been seeking a clarification from Tejashwi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, in an alleged land-for-hotels scam, has been taken aback by Lalu’s assertions.

“The JD (U) is not going back on its stand for clarification on corruption charges. Nitish Kumar will take right decisions at right time,” said senior JD (U) leader and former minister Shyam Rajak. “Everybody knows that Nitish’s USP is his zero tolerance against corruption,” he added.

A senior party leader admitted that Lalu Prasad ruling out Tejashwi’s resignation has not gone well with the JD(U).

The JD(U) on Friday had demanded a direct explanation from RJD chief Lalu Prasad asking him to disclose all his assets and along with the source of their acquisition. JD (U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar had said “Opposition has accused you of amassing huge assets allegedly through dubious means. You must explain the source to give a befitting reply to the BJP.”

The direct attack on the beleaguered RJD chief came after Bhai Birendra, a legislator close to him, dismissed the JD(U)’s diktat declaring “being the biggest ally partner, with 80 MLAs, the party was in a position to do whatever it wished”.

(With agency input)

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 11:37 IST