With the RJD making it clear that Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav won’t resign over a corruption case filed against him, its alliance partner JD(U) is likely to take a call on the matter after the party’s upcoming national executive meeting in Delhi. During his trip to Delhi, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar is likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The JD(U), it is learnt, expects the Congress to convince the RJD to soften its stance.
JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express: “We are preparing for the party’s national executive meeting in Delhi on July 22-23. While our agenda is already decided, current political issues would also be taken up. Nitish Kumar might also meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi. We expect the Congress to intervene in the Bihar matter as it is our ally too.”
He said the Grand Alliance had been best placed under Nitish Kumar’s “leadership and image”. “There has to be a serious attempt by all stakeholders in the Grand Alliance to find a way out of the impasse. There is no question of Nitishji compromising with his moral authority,” said Tyagi, hinting at a final call after the meeting if the RJD does not budge. So far, the Congress has backed the RJD against the CBI and ED raids.
While the JD(U) has not explicitly demanded Tejashwi’s resignation, its leaders have been stressing Nitish’s commitment towards probity and accountability. Addressing a party workers’ gathering, Nitish had recounted his resignation from the A B Vajpayee government on moral grounds after the Gaisal train accident of 1999. He also recalled resignations by BJP leader L K Advani and the JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav during the hawala scam.
Meanwhile, the RJD has stiffened its stance on the issue. RJD MLA Virendra Kumar said they would listen only to party chief Lalu Prasad. “We have 80 MLAs and our leader is Lalu Prasad. What the JD(U) says or wants to convey does not matter to us. We have decided not to entertain any demand of Tejashwiji’s resignation. He has been a victim of BJP’s conspiracy.”
Another senior RJD leader told The Indian Express that a section of party leaders are in the favour of replacing Tejashwi with Abdul Bari Siddiqui or Lalu’s other son Tej Pratap Yadav, but added, “there is not a single leader with the guts to say this to Lalu Prasad”.