Making his a debut as Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Friday asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar why he joined hands with RJD if it was a corrupt party. Saying that the JD(U)’s chief’s policy of zero tolerance against corruption was a sham, he said, “Did you not know Lalu Prasad was a convicted leader when you aligned with us? If RJD was a corrupt party, why did you come with us? The fact remains you always need some party to carry you through. I wonder why your clean image does not work when you contest alone.”
“In the 1995 Assembly polls, your party got seven seats and in 2014, you won only two Lok Sabha seats,” he said, adding that it was Nitish Kumar who aligned with RJD in the 2015 Assembly polls to “save his political existence”. At every high point in his 45-minute speech, RJD and Congress legislators thumped the desk, while his brother Tej Pratap and senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui encouraged him.
Accusing Nitish of indulging in the politics of “negativity”, Tejashwi said, “Since Nitish’s split with NDA, four governments have been formed — three under Nitish and one under Jitan Ram Manjhi — and it was done just to shine the image of one person… Now that Nitishji has formed another government with BJP, he should tell BJP how long he would stay.”
Addressing BJP legislators, he reminded them how Nitish dismissed BJP ministers in the past. “You had 91 MLAs and Nitish Kumar dismissed your ministers. We are 80 MLAs, but he dared not dismiss our ministers because we are self-respecting people unlike BJP leaders. And why did Nitish Kumar dismiss you people? Did you face corruption charges?,” said Tejashwi, drawing applause from the Opposition benches.
Turning to Nitish, he said, “Which morality are you talking about? The CBI case lodged against me and my family members has been in the making for the last five months. It is born out out of political vendetta. And when BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi talked about my family’s assets some three months ago, where was your zero tolerance and why did your spokespersons keep quiet… I am not a novice. BJP president Amit Shah says there would not be any state in India where there would not be a BJP government. One can understand why the change happened in Bihar”. He also sought to know if Nitish would ask the Prime Minister to bring a law that provides that if an FIR is lodged against anyone, he cannot become or remain a minister. “For that matter, a murder case has been pending against you, Nitishji,” he said.
Saying that RJD never pressured Nitish, he said, “People say Lalu Prasad did not make me resign because of putra-moh (love for son). Had it been so, I would have become CM. We made Nitish Kumar the CM despite RJD being the single largest party. The government collapsed due to ‘Bhai moh’ (affection for brother).”
Tejashwi said Nitish often spoke passionately about Champaran Satyagrah and Gandhian ideology, but travelled from “Hey Ram” to “Jai Shri Ram”. “Nitishji would often tell me that young leaders like us are the future of Bihar and we have to fight the Sangh. But he forgot about this in his love for power.” Taking a dig at Nitish’s prohibition policy, he asked, “Do you have a deal for prohibition across the country now that you have the PM by your side?”