ON A day Nitish Kumar took oath for the sixth time as Bihar chief minister, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his ally until Wednesday, claimed that Nitish never managed to administer Bihar properly in these 20 months of the Grand Alliance government, but he did not interfere in administrative work.
After approaching the RJD to forge an alliance to retain power in 2015, Nitish has now betrayed the mandate of the people of Bihar, who had voted against the BJP-led NDA and its communal politics, Lalu said. “The whole thing about prohibition is a farce,” Lalu asserted. “Liquor is available even now, and policemen have become rich. I had warned him (Nitish) of operational problems, but we did not say anything…we tried to cover for him. And yet he betrayed us.”
Lalu, who was in Ranchi in connection with a hearing of cases related to the fodder scam, alleged that Nitish was in cahoots with the BJP for some time. Claiming that the entire event of levelling allegations of corruption against his family was “fixed”, Lalu said: “Sushil Modi (then BJP’s legislature party leader and now the Deputy CM) was tasked with holding press meets to create a public perception that Lalu was involved in scams.” The idea, he claimed, was that the BJP would then gun for him with cases by the CBI and ED. “I had an inkling because he (Nitish) would often meet them (BJP leaders),” Lalu said.
Alleging that Nitish had played into the hands of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, Lalu said, “We had forced Modi and Shah to return empty-handed (in 2015 Bihar election). Modi-Shah knew that Lalu’s base was solid, so they created all this drama.”
Claiming that the CBI case against his son Tejashwi Yadav, who was the deputy CM, was only an excuse to return to the NDA fold, he said, “Tejashwi to ek bahana thaa, Nitish ko Bhajapa ke godh mein jaana thha (Tejashwi was only an excuse, Nitish wanted to return to BJP’s lap).”
The RJD chief also challenged Nitish to spell out whether Tejashwi had given him any reason for complaint as the deputy CM in the last 20 months. “He had got important portfolios, but was there any problem,” Lalu asked.
While not forgetting to call Nitish his “chhota bhai (younger brother)”, Lalu also said that the chief minister was an accused in a murder case dating back to 1991.