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RJD cries vendetta after Nitish govt cuts down Rabri, Tejashwi’s security

Rabri Devi and her son, Tejashwi have alleged that pruning their security was a conspiracy to endanger their lives.

patna Updated: Apr 12, 2018 01:30 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar,RJD,Rabri Devi
Security personnel stand outside Rashtriya Janata Dal senior leader Rabri Devi's residence to keep her supporters at bay following the CBI questioning her in an IRCTC scam. (PTI)

A late evening order to withdraw house guards of Bihar Military Police-II (BMP-II) from Rabri Devi’s residence has set the first family of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on a confrontation course with the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government.

Former chief minister Rabri Devi was quizzed by the CBI on Tuesday morning in connection with the alleged IRCTC hotel scam during the tenure of her husband Lalu Prasad Yadav as railway minister. Shortly after midnight the house guards were gone.

Protesting what they alleged ‘a conspiracy to endanger their lives’, Rabri Devi and her son, Tejashwi who is also the leader of the opposition, on Wednesday surrendered the entire family’s security guards including those provided to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi’s elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav .

Besides withdrawing guards from Lalu’s house, which was allocated to the RJD’s first couple as ex-CMs, authorities also served a notice to Tejashwi asking him to vacate his 5 Deshtratan bungalow. A furious Tejashwi described the decision an act of political vendetta.

“Just now at the stroke of midnight Nitish Kumar has called back 18 house guards deployed in the security of two ex CMs. Surrendering our security to Nitish Ji so that he can increase his own security as he is the most namby-pamby CM of the country,” Tejashwi tweeted minutes after the development.

Though NDA leaders are tight-lipped on the issue, inspector general of police (IGP) (security) Bachhu Singh Meena said security of former chief minister Rabri Devi and opposition leader Tejashwi had not been curtailed.

But a senior police official refusing to be named said only those house guards deputed for Lalu as ex-chief minister had been withdrawn.

“It is a conspiracy by Nitish, Sushil Modi and their government to get me and my family killed. I don’t have any fear. I go out among the public and the public will protect us,” an angry Rabri told reporters at her residence.

“Laluji is in jail and dying every day. We don’t know if he’s dying due to disease or being killed using medicines. His sugar level is rising. How do I trust the government? If the government asks us to vacate our house we’re ready to follow.”

Lalu Prasad who was serving his sentence in the Birsa Munda Jail in Jharkhand after being convicted in fodder scam cases, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on March 29 after he complained of discomfort and uneasiness. He is still undergoing treatment.

Rabri also shot off a letter to chief minister Nitish Kumar stating that all house guards provided to Lalu as ex-chief minister were withdrawn after he went to jail on December 23, 2017 and only few were left to man posts inside the 10 Circular road residence.

“The way BMP-2 house guards were withdrawn by a sweeping order at midnight on Tuesday has totally paralysed my security and my family. I do not want to keep guards or any other facility at my disposal just for the sake of showpiece. This is why, I am taking a conscious decision to surrender all my security and cars to the government. If anything happens to me and my family, the entire responsibility would be on the home department and home minister,” said Rabri Devi.

Her decision has put the entire onus of her and her family’s security on Nitish Kumar who holds the home portfolio.

A close aide of the opposition leader, Sanjay Yadav said all the security guards of Tejashwi, Rabri and Tej Pratap had been sent back to the state police headquarters. The 10, Circular road residence of Rabri and Tejashwi’s 5 Deshratan Marg residence allotted as deputy chief minister in the previous grand alliance government wore a deserted look on Wednesday.

“It is an irony that state government has curtailed Tejashwi and Rabri Devi’s security when there was a demand for enhancing Tejashwi’s security for last one month. Now, RJD workers would protect their leaders,” said Manish Yadav, another aide of the opposition leader.

It is not the first time curtailment of security cover to RJD’s first family has triggered a political row. Last November, the central government’s decision to downgrade Lalu’s security cover from Z plus category had seen angry reactions with Tej Pratap threatening to skin the Prime Minister.

First Published: Apr 11, 2018 16:57 IST