The Janata Dal (United) on Sunday expressed displeasure that Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had not shown the “basic courtesy” to meet his “boss” Nitish Kumar and present the facts in the assets case he is facing. Although the JD(U) reiterated that it had not set any deadline to decide the next course of action, there is speculation that Nitish would make some move after Presidential election on Monday.
There have been talks of two options for Nitish if Lalu Prasad did blink first. The Chief Minister may ask Tejashwi, Lalu’s son, to resign or dismiss him, or Nitish may himself offer to resign and take the moral high ground.
After a meeting of party leaders on Sunday, which was attended by Nitish, JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express: “Though Nitish Kumar had never talked about the resignation of Tejashwi, he did talk about moral values in politics during our party meeting, stressing occasions when a person has to take a tough decision for moral values.”
“Tejashwi should have at least met Nitish Kumar, who is his boss, to present facts in his defence and tried to convince the CM. It is the RJD that has started saying Tejashwi will not resign. It is the RJD that has been making it a political issue,” he said. Asked what the Chief Minister would do in the face of a so-called defiance by Tejashwi and Lalu, Tyagi said: “I would repeat that CM has not set any deadline but he would take a call on it when he deems fit.”
Asked about Lalu Prasad’s remarks that Tejashwi would present is facts only before investigating agencies, Tyagi said: “The CM does deserve an explanation from his deputy. There have been such precedents.” RJD sources told The Indian Express that Lalu had been once “convinced about option of Tejashwi quitting but he had to buckle under family pressure”. The RJD chief later went back to his MLAs, who agreed with Lalu to continue playing the political vendetta card and play it to the hilt at the August 27 Patna rally.
The RJD has shown no sign of bending and the Congress, the third Grand Alliance constituent, has tried to do a balancing act. Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Kumar Choudhary has met Lalu and expressed solidarity with him. Another Congress leader and minister Awadhesh Singh said on Sunday: “People of the country are looking up to Nitish Kumar, who can emerge as a national leader.”