JD(U)-RJD Rift Widens as Bihar Leaders Squabble Over Tejaswi Resignation
Bihar JD(U)'s chief spokesman Sanjay Singh on Friday criticised Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a minister in the Grand Alliance government, after the latter had on Friday dismissed any possibility of Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav's resignation over the CBI FIR in the land-for-hotels case.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (left) and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Patna: The JD(U) on Friday hit back at a senior RJD leader who had ruled out Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav's resignation over a graft case and made light of the party's claim of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "sacrifice" in forming the anti-BJP coalition in Bihar.
Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a minister in the Grand Alliance government, had on Friday dismissed any possibility of Yadav's resignation over the CBI FIR in the land-for-hotels case and had said, "Tell us who made the sacrifice so that we can pay obeisance by lighting aggarbatti."
He had blamed the JD(U) spokesperson for creating tension in the coalition by making tall assertions "to remain in the media limelight".
"Have Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav or Basistha Narayan Singh (Bihar JD-U chief) ever spoken on what transpired between the CM and Tejaswi Yadav during their one-to-one meeting on Tuesday last... I do not know who has authorised them (spokesmen) to make tall assertions," Siddiqui had said.
Hitting back at Siddiqui, Bihar JD(U)'s chief spokesman Sanjay Singh on Friday said, "A man who has been pushed from number two position in the RJD in the past to number five minister today is actually expressing his frustration...Siddiqui should answer to whom he is showing agarbatti."
He said Nitish Kumar made the sacrifice by reducing the number of seats contested by the JD(U) in the 2015 Assembly elections to 101 from 149 in the earlier poll.
JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar slammed former MP Shivanand Tiwari, whose son is an RJD MLA and who is in constant touch with Lalu Prasad at a time of this political crisis, for accusing the chief minister of having inclination towards the BJP.
His fellow spokespersons Ajay Alok and Nikhil Mandal also went on the offensive.
"Earlier, people used to come to politics full with 'sewa bhav' (will to serve) but now it seems some are guided by 'mewa bhav' (to make fortune)," Alok said in a veiled attack on the deputy chief minister.
"They should not test our patience," he said. Asserting that the deputy chief minister has been named in the FIR hence he should come clean on the accusations, Mandal reiterated that the JD(U) cannot compromise on zero tolerance against corruption and the clean image of Nitish Kumar.
However, state Disaster Management department minister and RJD leader Chandrasekhar who was present with the chief minister at a function in Patna today praised him saying, "Nitish Kumar is 'Vishkarma' (Lord Vishkarma) of Bihar's development."
Meanwhile, according to reports in a section of the media, Shakeel Ahmad Khan, the Congress MLA from Kadwa in Katihar, has written a letter to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi asking about the party's stand on corruption for the 2019 general election.
The Congress, which has been playing a peacemaker in the standoff between the JD(U) and the RJ(D), is seen tilting towards Lalu Prasad after Tejaswi Yadav's meeting with the chief minister.
After returning from Ranchi, Lalu Prasad, replying to reporters' question about the political crisis said, "Do not bother about the coalition, rather concentrate on other developments like the problem the country is facing from its neighbours and parliamentary developments."
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