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JD(U) gives partner RJD 4 days to dispel graft charges against Tejashwi Yadav

RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwai Yadav’s homes and properties were raided by the CBI last week in the land-for-hotels scandal.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2017 08:07 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Tejashwi Yadav‬,‪Bihar‬,‪Twitter‬‬
RJD chief Lalu Prasad addresses a press conference with his son and Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav at his residence in Patna on Friday after CBI raids at his premises. (PTI file)

Bihar’s ruling allies appeared headed for a major confrontation on Tuesday, with a senior Janata Dal (United) leader saying partner Rashtriya Janata Dal has four days to dispel corruption allegations against deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and his father Lalu Prasad.

The announcement came amid mounting pressure on chief minister Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi, who along with Lalu is facing charges in an alleged land-for-hotels scandal that saw the Central Bureau of Investigation raiding their homes and other properties last week.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar asked Tejashwi Yadav to give a “fact-wise reply in public” to the corruption charges hurled at him but said the ruling Grand Alliance won’t break.

“So far, the reply or explanation given by them is not satisfactory. They should come out with fact-wise reply in public,” the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader told his party leaders, breaking his silence on the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

Never had a ruling alliance partner’s meeting evinced such interest as did JD (U)’s meeting held at Kumar’s official residence, 1 Anney Marg. A short distance away, at 10 Circular Road, Tejashwi played cricket with children while Congress leaders watched the development from Sadaquat Ashram.

Lalu was away at Ranchi appearing in a fodder scam case in CBI special court.

To drive home his ‘zero tolerance against corruption principle’, the JD(U), which has 71 MLAs compared to the RJD’s 80 and Congress 27, gave the example of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, RN Singh of JD(U) and Ramadhar Singh of BJP, who were asked to resign when graft charges surfaced against them in 2005. The NDA now has 58 members in 243 member assembly.

“The chief minister made it clear that so far he has not compromised on standards set for corruption and even a leader of another constituent of a former alliance partner was made to resign,” said party spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.

“We expect clarifications in full from them (RJD).”

The RJD was quick to rule out Tejashwi’s resignation and called the allegations a BJP conspiracy to break the grand alliance.

Kumar, during his address to the state executive meeting is learnt to have said if the RJD presents no solution, he was ready for the inevitable -- no compromise with principles, which could mean shedding the allies.

“The meeting authorised him to take any political decision,” said the JD (U) spokesperson.

The party is expected to convene a meeting later in the week if the RJD doesn’t come to a decision by then.

Sources said Kumar referred to corruption charges that were being raised by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and said they were the same that the JD(U) had spoken of in 2008.

“We practise what we preach and there is no scope for any compromise on it”, added Neeraj Kumar.

First Published: Jul 11, 2017 17:33 IST