RJD, Congress rally behind Tejashwi, all eyes on Nitish at JD(U) meet on Tuesday

Nitish has not publicly commented on the FIR, which also names Tejashwi’s father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and mother Rabri Devi, but the RJD received support from JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and its other ruling ally Congress, which said it would not “allow BJP to succeed in breaking the Grand Alliance”.

Written by Santosh Singh , Anand Mishra | New Delhi | Updated: July 11, 2017 4:11 am
nitish kumar, jdu meet, janata dal united, indian express Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna. Files)

All eyes are on a meeting of JD(U) leaders in Patna on Tuesday, after legislators of its ruling ally RJD rallied behind their leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who has been facing calls to resign after he was named by the CBI in an FIR on charges of corruption and cheating. The JD(U), under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has not officially called upon Tejashwi to quit but party sources told The Indian Express that the leadership is “likely to take up the matter in the internal forum”.

Nitish has not publicly commented on the FIR, which also names Tejashwi’s father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and mother Rabri Devi, but the RJD received support from JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and its other ruling ally Congress, which said it would not “allow BJP to succeed in breaking the Grand Alliance”.

On Monday, following a party meeting, RJD legislators expressed solidarity with Tejashwi “in this moment of crisis” and said that their leadership did not even discuss the possibility of his resignation.

In the last 12 years, Nitish has either sacked or got five of his ministers, who have faced corruption charges and serious political allegations, to submit their resignations.

However, senior RJD leaders who have interacted with Lalu Prasad since the CBI conducted raids on properties linked to him Friday, sought to derive comfort from a telephone conversation that Nitish had with the RJD chief on Sunday night.

“People were asking us whether Congress leaders have spoken to Lalu, whether Mulayam has spoken to Lalu, whether Mamata has spoken to Lalu, but not Nitish. Now, Nitish has also spoken to Lalu. This should end speculation,” said a close aide of Prasad.

“The question of Tejashwi resigning will arise only if if he is denied bail and has to face jail,” said another senior RJD leader.

The RJD also drew strength from former JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who blamed the BJP for the current crisis.

“The BJP is not able to digest its defeat at the hands of the grand alliance (in the Bihar assembly elections of 2015). It has also become desperate due to the strong Opposition unity that is shaping up at the national level. So, all this is to break Opposition unity. If you look around, Opposition leaders are being targeted and action being taken against them,” Yadav told The Indian Express.

In Patna, RJD minister Munishwar Choudhary said after the party meeting that there was “no question” of Tejashwi resigning and that Nitish was “free to take his decision”. Senior RJD leader and state Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui said the party would not be intimidated by the “BJP’s politics of vendetta”.

Bihar Congress chief and state Education Minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary said all three alliance partners were united.

RJD sources said Monday’s meeting had been called to “express solidarity with the leadership of Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav” and “not to address any unwarranted questions such as the need for the Deputy CM to resign”.

In a two-page resolution, the party spoke about its “chattani ekta (rock-solid unity)” following CBI and ED raids on properties linked to Prasad’s family members.

“That is not just an attack on our leadership but an attack on our existence and we are committed to remain united in this hour,” the resolution said.

Following the meeting, RJD national vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh took a dig at alliance partner JD(U). “When it comes to attacking me, JD(U) spokespersons have been good at launching tirades. But they have not yet said a word after the CBI and ED raids at places of our leader’s family,” said Singh, who has been a vocal critic of the Chief Minister.

JD(U) sources said Nitish would make the party’s stand clear on Tuesday.

“No party leader has said anything for or against Tejashwi. Whether Tejashwi should resign or not can be discussed only at the top level of the Grand Alliance leadership. There would be clarity on our stand by Tuesday,” said sources.

The BJP, meanwhile, continued to highlight Nitish’s tough stand on corruption, while demanding Tejashwi’s resignation.

Speaking to The Indian Express, BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, “Knowing Nitish Kumar so well all these years, we know his stand on matters of corruption allegations. He had once said that he cannot allow a tainted minister in his cabinet. He has set an example in the past and now faces a litmus test between exercising his moral authority and succumbing to the constraints of an alliance.”

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  1. S
    sampath chari
    Jul 11, 2017 at 10:04 pm
    If congress, RJD do not support Tejaswi for his corruption, one should wonder. All the parties are corrupt to the core and are notorious in swindling public money. They will hold to the last straw to retain the ministry.
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      Insaan
      Jul 12, 2017 at 7:04 am
      Sampath, you say all the parties are corrupt to the core and I wonder what you would say about those among us the voters who support these corrupt parties. If they cared for the nation, we would not see these thugs blatantly opposing the nationalists today.
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      Rajaraman Sarma
      Jul 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm
      Sharad Yadav will definitely support corrupt Lalu Yadav, but it is doubtful whether Nitish Kumar will support.
      Reply
      1. S
        Sankaran Krishnan
        Jul 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm
        The two most corrupted Family Parties RJD and Congress joined together to protect Lallu and his family shows them very poorly from the public view point and now it si the real litmus test for Nitish as Bihar CM, how he is going to handle and will he had the guts to sack him from the Cabinet post and prove that he will not tolerate Corrupt and Tainted ones to be in the Cabinet headed by him or not ????
        Reply
        1. S
          Sudarshan Nityananda
          Jul 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm
          We really cannot conclude in a hurry regarding guilt or innocence in this case. Regarding whether Tejaswi must quit, just look at the "good" precedents set by the BJP. A Gujarat MInister Babu Bokhiria , under the then CM, Mr Modi, did not resign even after being convicted in a mining scam. Similarly another Minister Solanki is charged in a fishing scandal, and is free as a bird today. There is really no difference between the political parties as far as conscience and adherence to convention goes. Congress ( UPA) had set some good examples by asking, Pawan Bansal, Ashwani Kumar and Chavan to go.Except Kumar, nothing has been proven against them at all, but the action was taken. But the Cong also made mistakes by not getting A Raja to resign. In the current scenario of total lack of any kind of conscience or remorse among politicians in all parties, who has the moral authority to ask Tejas to resign - at least till he's convicted ?
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          1. I
            Insaan
            Jul 12, 2017 at 3:12 pm
            You said it right about not being able to conclude in haste on Tejashw's guilt or his innocence but in the changing political scenario where the nationalists under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi vow to side with the rule of the law, there is no room for the rhetorics of the past, exemplified enough right here with the corrupts supporting or rallying behind an alleged corrupt. No sympathy or contempt for the alleged accused. Just watch the law take its own course.
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            Damodar Biswal
            Jul 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm
            Lalu is a convicted corrupt leader.After CBI raid many more corrupt deals of Lalu has surfaced.Congress leaders r corrupt.So,it is natural that they support each other.
            Reply
            1. A
              Aster
              Jul 11, 2017 at 10:14 am
              Chor Yadavs Lalu and Sharad looted Bihar and made people poorer are talking about Political vandata means they will eat fodder they will eat land but no action should be taken against them. How a poor lalu leaving in rail quarters has 400 corers estate and still want to eat.
              Reply
              1. K
                K Ganesan
                Jul 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm
                Lalu used to claim himself as Chaprasi ka bhai hoon ?
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              2. A
                Albert
                Jul 11, 2017 at 9:54 am
                CBI, IT, EB, Delhi Police being accused as new Alliance Partner of NDA/BJP by the opposition parties and critics and they all are Demonizing opposition and threatening Opposition leaders with arrest to prop up BJP.
                Reply
                1. Y
                  Yodhaa Yadav
                  Jul 11, 2017 at 9:16 am
                  Nahii karaengaaey Tejashwi Bhaiyya resign. Aggar Bhagwoo maeyy dumm haii tohh karoo arrest Krishan jii kaeyy avatar Tejashwi bhaiyaa ko arrest. Humm Yadav aurr hummareyy Muslamaan bhaii, ekk ekk bhagwaeyy ko Bihar maeyy nangaa karkaeyy inn bhagwoo kii lasshoo kaa dhaerr lagaa daengaaey.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Raje
                    Jul 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm
                    you need treatment buddy. A person should be blind follower of a leader but not such blind follower of one of the most corrupt political family of India. Your comment just shows education cannot teach a man to think rationally.
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                      K Ganesan
                      Jul 11, 2017 at 5:33 pm
                      Our education system is primarily depending on much U can mug up.No use for brain.So are the outcome Bihar we read some time back a person paid money and was declared as topper in board exam.Last 40 years have been lost.
                    2. D
                      Damodar Biswal
                      Jul 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm
                      If u still feel that Lalu is facing political heat,either u r a fool or do not want Lalu to get punished for corruption.How can u tolerate this massive corruption of Lalu?
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