A day after RJD leaders presented before the media picture of the son of a JD(U) MLC with a teenaged girl to counter the ruling party’s attack on their leader Tejashwi Yadav, the JD(U) on Saturday threatened to file a case against the RJD leaders.
Accusing RJD leaders of “causing mental harassment” to the teen, JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said the party is seeking legal opinion to know whether Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act can be applied to RJD leaders who “released” the picture.
Besides Tejashwi, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tewary and party MLA Shakti Singh Yadav addressed the media on Friday and showed the photo of the JD(U) MLC’s son with a girl (name of MLC withheld to protect the minor’s identity). This came soon after JD(U) spokespersons Sanjay Singh, Neeraj Kumar and Nikhil Kumar held a joint media conference on Friday and released Tejashwi’s picture with a woman, and a liquor bottle in the background. Holding up the photograph, Sanjay Singh had said, “See the picture. A liquor bottle can be seen in the background. Tejashwi is with a girl.”
Tejashwi shot back on Twitter: “Did Nitish-ji take the woman’s permission before releasing the picture? Is this not violation of her right to privacy? Shouldn’t the women’s commission take cognizance of this and initiate action (against JD-U leaders)?” The RJD leader also said that he does not know the woman in the picture, and that it dated back to his IPL cricket days. “I had not joined politics then, and there is nothing wrong with the photograph,” he maintained.
The JD(U) itself released Tejashwi’s picture two days after the former Bihar deputy CM took on CM Nitish Kumar over his alleged “meeting” with a now-suspended JD(U) leader from Bhojpur, who is an accused in a 2012 hooch tragedy. About this low in state politics, JD(U)’s Neeraj Kumar said: “RJD started it, when Lalu Prasad accused top JD(U) leaders of drinking liquor in private (amid prohibition in the state). He should first look within (at family). We are hurt at the debate reaching this level.”
Admitting that the JD(U) knew that Tejashwi’s photo dates back to his cricket-playing days, Kumar said, “We just wanted to point at the liquor bottle behind him. This suggests the kind of lives Lalu Prasad’s sons live.” RJD’s Shivanand Tewary said, “JD(U) leaders should not have started it (photograph war). Such debates should stop.”