In Gandhi’s Champaran, RJD heir apparent Tejashwi targets Nitish; mum on CBI charges

Tejashwi said he had come to Motihari to apologise to Gandhi for reposing faith in CM Nitish Kumar, who had ‘betrayed’ the 2015 Bihar assembly poll mandate for the ‘grand alliance’, by joining hands with the BJP.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 21:27 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Motihari/Bettiah
Tejashwi Yadav,RJD heir apparent,Champaran meet
RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav (centre) with supporters at Gandhi memorial, Motihari, on Wednesday. (Madnakar/HT photo)

Leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly and ‘crown prince’ of the RJD Tejashwi Prasad Yadav made visual and verbal allusions to Gandhi’s 2017 Champaran satyagrah, to target chief minister Nitish Kumar over what he called the betrayal of the 2015 Bihar assembly poll mandate for the grand alliance (GA).

Playing the victim, Tejashwi, 28, was joined by his elder brother Tej Pratap and other RJD leaders in staging a sit in at the Gandhi memorial at Motihari (East Champaran), about 145 km north west of state capital, Patna. He subsequently went to West Champaran, as well.

Tejashwi had lost his deputy CM’s job when the 20 month old GA government fell on July 26 with Nitish Kumar’s resignation as CM, in the wake of the RJD leader’s failure to “clear the air” on corruption charges levelled against him in a CBI FIR last month.

On the following day, Kumar formed a new government with the BJP.

At Motihari, Tejashwi said he had come to apologise to Gandhi for reposing faith in Kumar, who had turned a ‘betrayer’. “He became chief minister with RJD help (in November 2015) and has now joined hands with those who killed Gandhi (seemingly, the saffron brotherhood).

The RJD had organised road shows with cadres joining in with elephant, camel and horse processions on the highways and at hamlets, to mark what was the first foray of Tejashwi into Bihar politics, independent of his father and RJD chief, Lalu Prasad’s larger shadow.

His father, however, ‘watched’ the proceedings from Patna via a video call arranged by his elder son Tej Pratap.

Tejashwi lashed out at the CM for negating the popular mandate against the BJP in 2015 and teaming up with the party to form a new government in Bihar. “This is the start of our ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao’ drive that will culminate into a mega rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on August 27. Leaders of more than 18 parties have consented to participate in it,” he said.

Later, at a public rally held at Madhopur girls’ school in Majhaulia block of West Champaran, he asked Kumar to resign on moral grounds for his censure by a Delhi court in a copyright case. “Step down and go to jail, if you talk and believe in principles of politics,” said Tejashwi.

Though he had promised to, Tejashwi still did not ‘come clean’ on the CBI charge he was the beneficiary-owner of valuable land in Patna that was an alleged pay off for two railways hotels, at Ranchi and Puri, leased out to a private party during his father, Lalu Prasad’s tenure as railways minister (2004-09).

Tejashwi, also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for leaving the people to fend for themselves by making false promises of ushering in ‘achhe din’, saying that they were eager to teach the BJP a suitable lesson in the next election.

“What happened to promises made by Modi to curb price rise, offer jobs to youths, doling out Rs 15 lakh in people’s account, special package for Bihar, cleaning of Ganga, etc?” he asked.

Accusing Nitish Kumar of creating political instability to stay in power, the RJD leader claimed it was his hunger for chair that saw four CMs in Bihar in last four years. Tejashwi alleged that his family was implicated in false cases to offer Nitish a reason to quit the GA.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 21:27 IST