The ruling JD(U)-BJP alliance in Bihar on Tuesday heaped scorn on leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav, who has returned to the state after spending two months in the national capital where he was, apparently, "stuck" because of the lockdown.
Leaders of both the parties advised the RJD leader to spend 21 days at a quarantine centre, spend some time with the migrant workers lodged therein whose cause he was professing to champion and "devote himself to the states fight against corona" thereafter.
Yadav, the heir apparent of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and the party's Chief Ministerial candidate for assembly elections due in half a year, arrived here late Monday night by road and is putting up at the 10, Circular Road residence of his mother Rabri Devi.
"Welcome, o bhrashtachar ke raajkumar (the prince of corruption)" quipped Information and Public Relations Department minister Neeraj Kumar, a leader in the JD(U) headed by Nitish Kumar, in a dig at the numerous cases of graft against family members of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad who is at Ranchi serving sentences in fodder scam cases.
"Now that you have made it convenient to end your vacation, it is time to follow the norms. You have come from outside Bihar. So you must get yourself medically screened at a quarantine centre and stay there for 21 days", said the minister with trademark pungency.
"At the quarantine centre, you will get a chance to meet migrant workers in person and learn about the sufferings they have undergone which you can only talk about. After the quarantine period, you must get your hands dirty and devote yourself to the states fight against corona", he added.
BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand pointed out that the 30- year-old leader, who is an avid user of Twitter, returned just a day after a hashtag "Tejashwi bhagoda hai" (Tejashwi is a deserter) went viral on the social media.
"While Bihar was busy battling the pandemic, Tejashwi was enjoying a vacation at an undisclosed place. So many times did our party plead with him to return and join the fight against corona, but he remained true to his reputation of running away whenever a crisis befell the state", Anand said in a statement.
Yadav, who is Lalu Prasad's younger son, has been attracting criticism for his frequent and prolonged absences from Bihar during which he, nonetheless, makes it a point to comment on the happenings back home through various social media platforms.
Last seen at the budget session of the state assembly, which was curtailed and ended in mid-March nearly a fortnight ahead of schedule the former Deputy CM had been frequently coming out with messages on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and had also taken part in a meeting held via video conferencing in which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar interacted with legislators representing all political parties.
Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, who lives a few hundred metres from their mothers residence, drove to call on the younger sibling and fumed when asked about the criticism about Tejashwis absence.
"He had gone to Delhi. Nobody, including Tejashwi, had a premonition that there will be such a lockdown. So he got stuck. As I keep saying, the political battle in Bihar is like Mahabharata.
"My brother is going to play the role of Arjuna while I shall be Krishna his charioteer cum advisor. Our opponents are in panic", said the maverick RJD leader, whose effusive displays of affection for the younger brother keep alternating with political tugs of war.