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Tejashwi claims Nityanand Rai wanted to join RJD, BJP says ‘character assassination’

Tejashwi on Monday said Rai had "no moral courage" to react and that he "had come with a request to be taken into the RJD when he had not become a minister".

A BJP leader said while several party leaders had criticised Tejashwi for his ‘Murti’ reference, Tejashwi deliberately chose to target Nityanand Rai. (Express File Photo)

After BJP Ujiyarpur MP and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai joined in to criticise Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav for calling NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu a “murti (statue)”, Tejashwi on Monday said Rai had “no moral courage” to react and that he “had come with a request to be taken into the RJD when he had not become a minister”.

While Rai has not yet responded, Bihar BJP spokesperson and national general secretary party’s OBC Morcha Nikhil Anand said, according to PTI, “His (Rai’s) rising stature is causing troubles for Tejashwi Yadav and his family. So they are indulging in character assassination.”

Anand said, “Lalu Prasad’s family has always been in habit of maligning Rai or any other Yadav leader. Right from close aides and former MP Ranjan Yadav and current Pataliputra MP Ram Kripal Yadav, Lalu Prasad has mistreated them. What Tejashwi has been saying about Rai is a canard and besmirching campaign against Rai, who never bowed down to Lalu Prasad even in his heydays.”

“The Lalu family wants Yadavs to be their foot soldiers but not grow up as leaders,” the BJP leader alleged. “So when BJP started promoting Yadavs in party rank and government hierarchy, the Lalu Prasad family is feeling uncomfortable and reacting out of way. Today, Bhupender Yadav is the biggest Yadav leader in any party and Nityanand Rai is growing in stature in Bihar. So the RJD reaction is obvious and they are attacking Yadav leaders outside their family.”

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Another BJP leader said that while several BJP leaders had criticised Tejashwi for his ‘Murti’ reference, Tejashwi deliberately chose to target Rai.

Nityanand Rai has always projected himself as a counter to Lalu Prasad’s politics from Yadav-dominated Hajipur region. Rai had been also recently posturing himself as the state BJP’s potential CM face for 2025. However, he had to withdraw his posturings in view of strained BJP-JD(U) ties and after central BJP leaders made it clear that Nitish Kumar was the NDA leader in Bihar.

First published on: 19-07-2022 at 02:29 IST
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