In a first major reflection of strain within the Grand Secular Alliance government in Bihar, the JD(U) on Monday strongly reacted to RJD leader Raghubansh Prasad Singh’s remarks backing the comments of Mohammad Shahabuddin on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The party also appealed to RJD chief Lalu Prasad to enforce the code of ‘gatbandhan dharma (coalition principles)’ among his partymen.
“We appeal to RJD president Lalu Prasad to rein in leaders like Raghubansh Prasad Singh who are regularly making irresponsible remarks. Prasad should enforce the code of ‘gatbandhan dharma’ among his party leaders and instill the confidence in us that such errant leaders will be disciplined,” senior ministers Bijendra Prasad Yadav and Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan told reporters.
Kumar had on Saturday trashed Shahabuddin’s comments that he was a “chief minister of circumstance” and “unimportant” and had asserted that “everybody knows about the mandate of the people”.
The two JD(U) ministers sought to ignore Shahabuddin’s remarks against the Chief Minister after his release from jail on bail on Saturday, but came down heavily on RJD vice president and former Union minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh.
Singh had on Monday said, “There are different parties in the alliance and Lalu Prasad is our leader. The leaders of the alliance partners had decided to make Nitish Kumar the chief minister (even before the election). I did not favour it but they had already taken a decision.”
“What is wrong in it (Shahabuddin’s statement)? Nitish Kumar has indeed been a chief minister of circumstances and not because of his own strength and numbers,” Singh had said.
Reacting strongly, state Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told reporters, “Raghubansh Prasad Singh is making uncharitable remarks, laced with filth against the government and the chief minister, even more than the opposition, BJP. His comments are not dignified and guided by personal grudge.”
Lallan also lashed out at senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi for “regularly making statements” against the state government in the wake of Shahabuddin’s release from jail after he was granted bail by the Patna High Court.
“Sushil Modi is trying to create an environment of fear among the citizens of Bihar,” he alleged.