Patna, June 23: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday held out an olive branch to Chirag Paswan, saying the beleaguered LJP leader must reconsider his continuance in the NDA, led by the BJP which swore by the RSS ideology instead of the Constitution.
The leader of the opposition also charged the ruling JD(U) in Bihar with being the "mastermind" behind the split in the LJP, which has left Chirag cornered within the party headed by him till recently and founded by his late father Ram Vilas Paswan.
Yadav, who was talking to reporters at the airport here upon his return from New Delhi after a long stay, also sought to remind Chirag that in 2005 and 2010 similar splits had been engineered by the JD(U) in the LJP while his father and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had "helped Ram Vilas get a Rajya Sabha berth when he had lost his own Lok Sabha seat".
"Chirag Paswan must now decide whom he wants to stand with those abiding by the Bunch of Thoughts (a famous polemical work by RSS ideologue M S Golwalkar) or those for whom the Constitution drafted by B R Ambedkar is supreme", said Yadav.
When pointed out that the JD(U), controlled by its de facto leader Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, claimed that it knew "nothing" about the crisis in the LJP which witnessed a revolt by Chirags uncle and former state minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, Yadav responded mordantly. "Nitish Kumar never knows anything. Perhaps he does not even read the papers. He must be unaware that in 27 out of 38 districts of Bihar, the price of petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre", Yadav remarked.
When asked about the ruling party’s criticism of his protracted absence from Bihar, Yadav, who led the RJD to an impressive performance in the last assembly polls, asserted that he had been away to look after his ailing father. "The ruling dispensation must be aware that I am a beta (son) besides being a neta (leader). Moreover, what would I have been able to do for the people here when even those in power had been forbidden from venturing out", Yadav said, in an oblique reference to a circular issued by the state cabinet secretariat whereby ministers had been asked to refrain from undertaking tours during the COVID-induced lockdown.
He also said doctors attending his father, one of the most colourful and keenly-watched politicians of the state, have hinted that he might be able to come to Patna "very soon". Prasad, convicted in many fodder scam cases, has been staying in the national capital upon his release from jail following bail granted by Jharkhand High Court.